Russian Grand Prix – The administrators who handled the sale of Force India to Racing Point have confirmed they have received notice of the legal challenge from Uralkali.
Early on Thursday, Russian consortium Uralkali issues a press release stating that they were taking court action against the sale of the Force India team to Canadian consortium Racing Point, the sale being handled by administrators FRP Advisory.
When contacted for a statement, FRP advised us that they had not received any notice of any legal challenge through the court system but were confident that any such challenge would be ‘quickly dismissed’.
A further statement from FRP has since been issued, confirming that Uralkali have started a legal challenge against the sale but say “Having now seen the substance of Uralkali’s claim, we are ever more confident it will be dismissed at the earliest opportunity”. The full statement is below.
“We can now confirm that we have been served with a claim from Uralkali relating to the administration of Force India. We are disappointed that Uralkali chose to issue their press release before issuing their claim. We have acted in compliance with our duties as administrators at all times and oversaw a fair and transparent bidding process which ultimately achieved a very successful outcome for all stakeholders. Having now seen the substance of Uralkali’s claim we are ever more confident it will be dismissed at the earliest opportunity.”
“As all of the interested parties were aware, our primary statutory duty as administrators was to pursue a rescue of Force India as a going concern. All parties had the opportunity to submit a proposal to rescue the company rather than buy its assets. When the final offers came in, Racing Point was the only party to submit a rescue proposal. Once the proposal had been carefully assessed and we, alongside our legal advisors, were satisfied that it was reasonably achievable, we were under a statutory duty to proceed with it. Having failed to submit a proposal to rescue the company Uralkali now insists on comparing its bid to buy the assets of the company with a rival bid to rescue the company or buy the assets should that fail.”
Uralkali is a Russian company led by Dmitry Mazepin, father of Force India young driver Nikita Mazepin. Force India, under ownership of Dr. Vijay Mallya, entered administration earlier this summer after struggling through financial issues all year. FRP handled the sale to Racing Point, a consortium led by Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, father of Williams’ Lance Stroll. The team began racing under their new ownership when the season resumed after the summer break at Spa-Francorchamps.