Force India’s sale to a consortium headed by Lawrence Stroll is being challenged in the High Court in London by failed rival bidder Uralkali.
Dmitry Mazepin, father of Force India development driver and GP3 racer Nikita Mazepin, is a non-executive director at Uralkali, whose bid was spurned by administrators FRP Advisory in favour of the terms offered by Williams driver Lance Stroll’s father Lawrence.
Uralkali claims Stroll’s bid was “significantly inferior to Uralkali’s” and argues FRP should have selected its bid as the winner during last month’s administration proceedings.
“Despite Uralkali’s generous offer for the business and assets, which we believe was the best bid on the table, the administrators chose to enter into an exclusivity arrangement with another bidder and subsequently refused to reengage with Uralkali,” the company said in a statement.
Uralkali accuses FRP of failing to recognise their bid was higher, “misrepresentations and lack of transparency” in the bidding process and “failing to achieve the maximisation of sale proceeds for the benefit of creditors, shareholders and other stakeholders” through its sale to Stroll’s consortium.
According to Uralkali, FRP subsequently acknowledged Stroll’s winning bid “was significantly lower than Uralkali’s”, which prompted the decision to begin legal proceedings.
RaceFans understands Uralkali’s bid would have resulted in a substantial amount being made available to the sole shareholder of Force India (Orange India Holdings Sarl) following the repayment of creditors and settling of the administrators’ costs.
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This article will be updated.