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Fry denies conflict of interest

NEWS STORY
16/01/2009

Honda F1 Team CEO Nick Fry has denied that a possible management buy-out of the team will lead to a conflict of interest, claiming that senior management from Japan are overseeing the entire process.

"I would like to make clear that Honda motor company, as owner of the Honda Racing F1 team, will decide on the future of our team," said Fry today, according to the BBC.

"At all times during the process of securing the future of the team, senior managers from Honda Motor Company have been present at our headquarters in Brackley to assist in making decisions and we have taken legal advice at all times to ensure no conflict of interest," he added.

Fry spoke out in response to a report in a British newspaper that the sale process was to be investigated by a government department following claims from staff at Brackley that they feared Fry's handling of the sale could be jeopardising their jobs.

The Daily Mail quoted one factory insider as saying: "The level of anger and frustration at the factory is unbelievable. We wonder whether Nick is doing the right thing by wearing two hats. The DTI will be keen to make sure that Honda find the best, most competitive buyer."

Fry claims that the story is an attempt to destabilise negotiations and scupper the sale. "It is evident that attempts are being made by certain parties to frustrate this process," he said.

Last week, Fry revealed that there twelve potential bids under consideration having narrowed this down from thirty. However, it was another British newspaper the Daily Telegraph that revealed that one of these potential bids was a management buy-out led by Fry, prior to that there had been no suggestion of a management buy-out.

Honda, which earlier today announced that its car production plant in Swindon will close for a total of four months in the face of falling sales due to the global financial crisis, has set a January 31 deadline for the sale of the team.

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