'Serious' interest from British brothers in buying beleaguered Marussia team
Banbury outfit to miss United States GP after going into administration
By Sky Sports Online
Last Updated: 03/11/14 6:34pm
British-Indian brothers Baljinder Sohi and Sonny Kaushal have emerged as 'serious' contenders to buy the beleaguered Marussia team.
After months of speculation about the financial security of the Banbury-based outfit, who are owned by Russian billionaire Andrei Cheglakov, it was confirmed on Monday that the team had been placed in administration and will miss the upcoming United States Grand Prix.
Despite their absence, Marussia will retain ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship provided neither of the two teams below them in the standings – Sauber and Caterham – fail to score points in the remaining three races of the campaign. Caterham were themselves placed in administration last week and have already been ruled out of both the U.S. and Brazilian Grands Prix.
Were they to retain ninth place, Marussia would reap a prize-money windfall in the region of £35m, a prospect which has already attracted interest from brothers Baljinder Sohi and Sonny Kaushal, who made their fortunes in the steel industry.
“They are interested and have put in, in their words, ‘a serious offer’ to buy the team and that would mean them taking on the team’s current £30m debt,” reported Sky Sports News HQ’s Craig Slater.
“Negotiations are ongoing but Sky sources can confirm that the brothers are serious about buying this team.”
Administrators are understood to have addressed Marussia’s 190-workforce for half an hour at the team’s Oxfordshire base on Monday morning.
Although the team itself are yet to comment on their plight, a statement released by FRP Advisory LLP confirmed: “With the Marussia F1 Team now in administration, the joint administrators have assessed that, given the current financial circumstances of the Group, it is not viable for the Marussia F1 Team to participate in the next race, the 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
"The Company will continue to operate while the joint administrators assess the longer term viability of the Company in its present form.
"No redundancies have been made following the Company's entering into administration and all staff have been paid in full to the end of October. The ongoing staff position will however be dependent on whether the Company can secure new investment in the limited time available. We remain highly focused on engaging with interested parties."
The two points scored by Marussia in May’s Monaco GP were the first they had netted since joining the sport three years ago.