Monday, October 24, 2011

Team Lotus sells minority shareholding to Indian Investor

Team Lotus which is currently placed 10th in the Forumla 1 Grid and is owned by Tony Fernandes of Air Asia and his partners is likely to announce a deal to sell a minority stake. It is said that Gaurav Burman, who is the younger son of former Dabur India Chairman V C Burman has invested about 10 million USD and acquired a minority stake. In the next two or three years he is supposed to scale up his share holding to around 50% by investing about 50 million USD.

Gaurav Burman is married to controversial Lalit Modi's step-daughter and is a director in the AIM listed equity fund Elephant Capital Plc. He is also a Co-owner in the Kings XI Punjab team. This investment is likely to result in more interest generation in motor sports in India. Whether this investment is likely to result in Karun Chandhok getting a drive in the Inaugural Indian Grand Prix is yet to be seen.

This investment confirms that staging a Formula 1 race in India is proving to be beneficial to the entire Formula 1 as a sport. Sahara group has already bought 42.5% stake in the FI team. Tata Motors, Hero Motors, Base Batteries, MRF Tyres are sponsors of Narain Karthikeyan. Amul is sponsoring Sauber for the Indian Grand Prix. After watching the inaugural Grand Prix, there are likely to be many more corporates jumping into the Formula 1 bandwagon. The huge crowds and viewership of F1 is going to have its own pull.
There are exciting times ahead. 

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