Dark days ahead for Caterham F1 Team

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

The appointment of adminstrators to Caterham Sports Limited has uncovered a legal stoush between the new and old owners of the Caterham F1 Team and the team’s appearance at the United States Grand Prix is looking increasingly unlikely.

Via the team website Caterham F1’s “buyer” Swedish company¬†Engavest SA has issued a damning statement, which you can read in full after the break. It claims the “seller”, led by Tony Fernandes, has failed to comply with the terms of the sale.

“Since the date of the Agreement, the Seller has refused to comply with its legal obligations to transfer their shares to the Buyer,” the statement reads. “The Buyer has been left in the invidious position of funding the team without having legal title to the team it had bought.

“This is in total contradiction to the Seller’s press release of 3 October 2014 which stated that Mr Fernandes and his Caterham Group had no longer any connection with the Caterham F1 Team.”

Further, the statement adds: “The administrators of Caterham Sports Limited have been appointed on behalf of Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (Exim), a creditor of Mr Fernandes and the Caterham Group. The Buyer has no connection with Exim. Caterham Sports Ltd was a supplier company to the Caterham F1 Team.”

In the most public sign yet that the F1 team’s immediate operating future is in doubt the statement concludes: “The Buyer is now forced to explore all its options including the withdrawal of its management team. Lawyers have been instructed by the Buyer to bring all necessary claims against all parties, including Mr Fernandes who, as an owner, will run the F1 operation.”

Fernandes has described the Caterham F1 Team statement as “garbage” to BBC Sport and said this via twitter: “If you buy something you should pay for it. Quite simple.”

[Source: BBC]

Caterham F1 Team Statement

Wed 22 Oct, 2014

On 29 June 2014, Caterham Enterprises Ltd, Caterham (UK) Ltd and Sheikh Mohamed Nasarudin (Seller) and their shareholders Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Bin Meranun entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Engavest SA (Buyer) with regards to 1Malaysia Racing Team Sdn Bhd/Caterham F1 Team.

Since the date of the Agreement, the Seller has refused to comply with its legal obligations to transfer their shares to the Buyer. The Buyer has been left in the invidious position of funding the team without having legal title to the team it had bought. This is in total contradiction to the Seller’s press release of 3 October 2014 which stated that Mr Fernandes and his Caterham Group had no longer any connection with the Caterham F1 Team.

The administrators of Caterham Sports Limited have been appointed on behalf of Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (Exim), a creditor of Mr Fernandes and the Caterham Group. The Buyer has no connection with Exim. Caterham Sports Ltd was a supplier company to the Caterham F1 Team. Very regrettably, the administrators’ appointment has had devastating effects on the F1 Team’s activities. Since their appointment, the administrators have released various press statements which have been severely detrimental to the management of the Caterham F1 team.

After three months of operating the Caterham F1 Team in good faith, the Buyer is now forced to explore all its options including the withdrawal of its management team. Lawyers have been instructed by the Buyer to bring all necessary claims against all parties, including Mr Fernandes who, as an owner, will run the F1 operation.