Saturday, October 8, 2011

Genii Capital double down on F1 presence

It appears that Genii Capital (Lotus Renault Grand Prix team owners) are moving to demonstrate that they are real serious about F1. Reports in the media are that Genii Capital are set to acquire a majority stake in Group Lotus whom currently have a sponsorship arrangement with the team. Genii's position and participation in F1 was discussed in August (HERE) if they would sell a stake in the F1 to Group Lotus. This was seen as not entirely plausible given Group Lotus's financial position. However, it has turned out that Genii are the ones buying in.

There is no doubt in my mind the joint venture of World Wide Investments Group (WWI) and Genii managing $10 billion USD in investments allows for more strategic thinking as it relates to the automotive sector; an area that has been identified as a target area in this joint venture. Genii's money definitely gives the spend happy CEO of Group Lotus, Dany Bahar the ability to continue the branding exercise he has engaged across multiple motorsport categories across the globe.

 With Team Lotus looking to have the team re-branded as Caterham, it stand to reason that Bahar is going to be very happy as he will be able to properly link the Team Lotus name with the Group Lotus motorsport and manufacturing activities. I am also sure that  Team Lotus owner, Tony Fernandes will be happy as he gets to cash in on selling the Team Lotus name to Group Lotus after beating them in court for the right to use the name. Fernandes can focus on promoting the recently acquired Caterham brand and build off of his other companies. Moreover, the proposed deal will most likely get Proton out from under Group Lotus which makes things work more harmoniously if you are talking about the whole concept of 1Malaysia. All the way around, this arrangement is definitely is more synergistic. If the deal comes off as it is expected to it will be curious to see how the final details shake out.

Nevertheless, one of the sticking points on the F1 side of things is this issue of re-branding Team Lotus as Caterham and LRGP as Team Lotus. For the name changes to be approved, 18 of the 26 members of the F1 Commission must support the move. The commission consists of the teams, Ecclestone, Jean Todt, representatives for sponsors, engine manufacturers and circuits. Nothing is easy in F1 particularly if it is something political. So, Ferrari, Sauber and HRT want to have a formal meeting on the subject. However, this is an example where I think it is just a matter of wanting to deal with future attempted name changes as everyone in the sport is ready to put the Team Lotus vs. Group Lotus name dispute in the past.


jason @ motorsport sensors said...

Money and politics rules F1 - and then cars and riders.

And don't you forget it!

Marko Zeko said...

I am mzex from
since that forum is down I would like to read some of your comments, but I see that you stopped posting here by the end of 2011.
What you think of Kimi's current form?
What is your opinion on Vettel?

Best regards,

Marko Zeko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.