The future of Force India F1 team is secured after a consortium led by Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll has won the bid that will save the jobs of 405 employees.
After the team was put under administration over the Hungarian GP weekend when Sergio Perez filed a petition through one of the team’s creditors, FRP Advisory were appointed as the administrators to find the new owner of the squad.
In just over a week’s time, the administrators have completed the process with the bid won by a group of investors led by Lance Stroll’s father Lawrence. The consortium has seven businessmen who will presumably act as co-owners.
They are Canadian entrepreneur Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of Monaco Sports and Management, fashion business leader John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jr, financial expert Michael de Picciotto, Stroll and business partner Silas Chou.
With the deal signed today, the team can exit administration with the creditors to be paid in full along with a long-term funding secured for the outfit for a safe future of the 405 employees to continue in F1.
Force India’s COO Otmar Szafnauer said: “This outcome secures the future of the Force India team in Formula 1 and will allow our team of racers to compete to our full potential. I am delighted that we have the support of a consortium of investors who believe in us as a team and who see the considerable business potential that Force India has within F1 now and in the future.
“At Force India, our expertise and commitment has meant that we have always punched above our weight and this new investment ensures that we have a bright future ahead of us. I also would like to thank Vijay, the Sahara Group and the Mol family for all of their support and taking the team as far as their circumstances would allow.”
Joint administrator Geoff Rowley added: “It is rare that a company can be rescued and returned to a position of solvency. The quality of the various interested parties has been impressive and required careful consideration as the administration has progressed.
“Having followed a robust process, in the end we were left with a highly-credible offer to save the company and restore solvency. All creditors will be paid in full, all jobs will be preserved, and the team will have significant funding to invest in its future.
“Funding to support the team will be made available from today, and significantly more will be available once the company emerges from administration which we expect within the next two to three weeks.”
Having finished fourth in the last two seasons, the team sits sixth in the current standings at summer break as it fights with Renault, Haas and McLaren to retain fourth. With the new owners, the team will compete in Belgium and the remaining races.
Perez and Esteban Ocon should continue as well with the team also to retain its same name for 2018 at least until a special request is made for a change. It remains to be seen if the current leaders in the team will be retained or not.
If they can, it has to be seen of they can continue in their same roles. The Stroll-led consortium is the fourth new set of owners for the team based in Silverstone which started its journey under Jordan before moving on to Midlands and then Spyker.