In a statement released on Wednesday the team accused the previous owners of failing to meet its “legal obligations” to relinquish shares in Caterham.
Fernandes set the team up in 2010, when it entered F1 under the Lotus name, before becoming Caterham in 2010.
The identity of the new owners remains unclear. Former F1 driver Christijan Albers was originally hired to run the team but he departed after two months at the helm, leaving Manfredi Ravetto in charge. In Singapore Ravetto said he was “not supposed to go more in detail” about who had taken over the team.
The new owners stated they are considering withdrawing their management team and are considering legal action “against all parties, including Mr Fernandes who, as an owner, will run the F1 operation”.
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 3rd 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.
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Image © Caterham/LAT