Bahar fuels Lotus takeover talk
Group Lotus boss Dany Bahar has fuelled speculation that the owners of the Lotus-backed F1 team could be about to take a larger role in the automotive company.
As part of his five-year plan for taking Group Lotus into profitability, Bahar led Lotus into a sponsorship deal with Genii Capital, the majority owners of the Renault F1 team, in November 2010, with the option of buying a majority stake in the team at a later date.
However, rumours circulating today at the Japanese Grand Prix suggest that Genii Capital boss Gerard Lopez is now on the brink of taking a senior role in Group Lotus as well as investing in the organisation. It is not clear how large Lopez’s involvement will be.
When asked by Autocar about rumours of a possible takeover of Group Lotus by Genii, Bahar responded: “I can only say this: When we made the announcement about our involvement in Lotus Renault GP we made it clear that this was the start of a close relationship and this journey continues.”
It is not clear if the possible buy-in by Lopez is related to the naming rights row currently being fought between Group Lotus and Team Lotus.
In 2010 Genii linked up with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to bid to buy the cash-strapped Saab marque from GM, but their joint-offer was later withdrawn.
Read sister publication Autosport’s story, ‘Renault’s Gerard Lopez poised to buy into Group Lotus’