08 December 2015

Withers advises Renault on the acquisition of Lotus F1


Renault Group and Gravity Motorsports S.à r.l., an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, have announced the signature of a share purchase agreement regarding the acquisition by Renault of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team Ltd, following the loan and call option agreements signed in September, thereby staving off a winding-up petition. Withers continues to advise Renault on the project and the transaction is due to complete shortly.

The signature of this share purchase agreement marks the return of a Renault Formula 1 team from the 2016 racing season, which continues its involvement in Formula 1 for almost 40 years. Renault has taken part in more than 600 grand prix, claiming 168 race wins, 12 Constructors' titles and 11 Drivers' crowns. The Lotus F1 Team effectively stands out as the best partner and Renault and Lotus F1 have known each other for 15 years and were world champions together in 2005 and 2006.

'Renault had two options: to return as a complete entity or else withdraw. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1's chief players provided us with the confidence to go ahead with this new challenge. Our aim is to win, even though it is reasonable to expect that this will take time,' emphasizes Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault.

'This is a hugely significant transaction for Renault and for Formula 1, and has involved delicate negotiations with numerous stakeholders over the past few months, including the FIA, Formula 1 management as well as the Lotus creditors, against a backdrop of high-profile cash flow shortfalls and many months of intense media speculation. We are delighted to have played a part in this transaction, bringing over 30 years of experience of assisting numerous key players in the industry, including teams, investors, drivers and managers. Renault has a superb history in motorsport and has great ambitions for Formula 1. This is positive news for the Lotus employees and for the sport generally, following two team failures last year. We look forward to continuing to work with Renault as they move from strength to strength,' says Withers' Global Head of Corporate and Commercial Law, Anthony Indaimo.

Anthony led Withers' cross-office and departmental team, working alongside commercial special counsel Sharon Whitehouse and commercial associates Jamal Saleh, Toby Joy, Tom Noad and Hugo Seymour; litigation and insolvency partner Roberto Moruzzi; employment associates Libby Payne and James Hockin; international corporate tax partner Andrew Terry and associate Adam Dolder; IP partner Kenny Mullen and associate Celia Lloyd Davidson; real estate partner Paul Brecknell and associate Tom Hughes; and reputation and media partner Amber Melville-Brown.

Lotus F1 was represented by Squire Patton Boggs, led by partners Gareth Timms and Peter Vaines. Gravity Motorsports was represented by JAG Shaw Baker, led by partners Tina Baker and Karen Shike.

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Category: Firm News