Lotus F1 Strengthens Position: The Who’s Who of New Deal
Well, by now, most of you have already heard the good news that Lotus F1 Team has new investors. Below is a little blurb about the deal.
With conflicting reports about the financial state of the Lotus team, it is important for us to remember that only Lotus brass knows the true story of their affairs. Clearly, attracting new investors would be difficult if the team is rough waters. I hope this deal helps to prove that things in Enstone are fine and that the new partners will help strengthen an already strong and hard-working group.
On a side note, I hope this deal continues to keep Lotus competitive and helps them improve in the area of technology, in particular with their KERS, which their new partners can make an impact. Finally, it would be great if Lotus could sign a new title sponsor and help retain the services of star driver Kimi Raikkonen
Ok, here’s the deal:
Infinity Racing Partners Ltd has acquired a 35 percent stake in the team - five shareholders with the lions share belonging to Universal Sports Group which has several companies operating under its umbrella. Another share holder is New York based Crescent Investment Management founded and chaired by Mansoor Ijaz. Both companies have some involvement in the energy sector including but not limited to oil.
Lotus F1 team says that Infinity Racing is,
“an investment consortium whose special purpose vehicle is comprised of private investors that include an American hedge fund manager, an Abu Dhabi-based multinational business group and royal family interests of a major oil-producing nation”.
Genii Capital retains a controlling 65 percent stake in the team, with Gerard Lopez remaining as chairman of Lotus F1 Team (and Genii Capital). Lopez’ founding partner in Genii Capital (and CEO) is fellow Luxembourgian Eric Lux. Some of may remember the name from the incident in Shanghai when he was struck in the neck at a nightclub with a broken glass by F1 driver Adrian Sutil in April of 2011. The incident shined the spot light on him and eventually went to court which cost Sutil his drive in 2012.
It is important to note that Infinity Racing has no affiliation with Nissan’s higher end Infinity brand seen on Red Bull Racing.
It is equally as important to note that Lotus F1 not directly affiliated with Lotus the car manufacturer.
An interesting fact is that Lotus F1 team is based in Enstone and is considered a British team…which is owned in part by Genii Captial which has its Headquarters based in Howald Luxembourg and Infinity Racing Partners which is not based in the UK.
Here are some quotes, courtesy of Lotus F1 Team:
Gerard Lopez, Chairman, Lotus F1 Team:
“Infinity Racing’s principals have exceptional expertise and a proven strong track record in developing and delivering high quality technologies. This partnership will enable us to increase Lotus F1 Team’s competitive advantage related to KERS technology as it becomes more central to Formula 1’s push for environmentally sound racing, while also making Lotus F1 Team more marketable as a brand, opening up additional major sponsorship opportunities.”
Mansoor Ijaz, Chairman and Suhail Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman, Infinity Racing:
“Gerard Lopez, Eric Lux and the entire Genii Capital team are building Lotus F1 Team to make it a serious competitor at every race and a winner on a par with the top racing teams in Formula 1. The recent developments at Enstone and results of the Team’s high-quality drivers are testament to this. Patrick Louis, Chief Executive, and Eric Boullier, Team Principal, are continuing the time-honoured traditions of Lotus F1 Team and have re-established the Team as a competitive force in Formula 1. We are honoured to be part of the Team’s forward march to the No.1 ranking and proud of the team spirit, down-to-earth nature and performance-oriented results that characterize the experts at Enstone, who endeavour to make Lotus F1 Team a title challenger in Formula 1 today.”
Eric Lux, CEO, Genii Capital:
“Genii Capital is delighted to announce this partnership between Infinity Racing and Lotus F1 Team as we continue to grow and compete for podium places. Since Genii Capital took over control in December 2009, we have been focused on growing the value of the organization and developing the infrastructure at its Enstone headquarters. As Lotus F1 Team results have continued to improve every year, we have been waiting for the right investor who will help make the jump to the top spot in the Constructors’ Championship. In Infinity Racing, we have found a partner with the right connections in addition to technological expertise and a global reach in major markets with key sponsors to achieve this goal. We look forward to working with Infinity Racing as we continue on this exciting journey.”