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Liquidator for A1 GP remains hopeful

NEWS STORY
01/03/2010

The liquidator of the parent company of the A1 Grand Prix series remains hopeful that a buyer might be found who could resurrect the series.

A1 GP appeared to have passed away at the end of last year, when, following a string of announcements and (ultimately broken) promises, the season opener at Surfer's Paradise was cancelled at the very last moment.

In time all went quiet, and with team owners as puzzled as the fans as to what was happening, the series finally appeared to have been laid to rest when parent company A1 Holdings Ltd was wound up last month.

However, Bridge Business Recovery LLP, liquidators of A1GP Operations Ltd, the UK-based subsidiary of A1 Holdings Ltd, a BVI company, which ran the series, are confident of finding a buyer.

"Although it is still early days we are highly confident that a buyer can be found for the company's assets and with it the prospect of the A1 Grand Prix series returning to our TV screens at some point in the near future," says Tony Murphy, a partner at Bridge Business Recovery, who, along with colleague James Bradney, has the task selling the assets of the company's operations as a whole package. Ideally, this would see a buyer re-launching the A1 Grand Prix series in some form in the near future.

The assets available include Lola cars, parts and spares, as well as the Intellectual Property Rights to the A1 Grand Prix series logos and brands.

Meanwhile, A1 GP continues to make headlines in Australia where the last minute cancellation of the Surfer's Paradise event has caused a political firestorm.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson is understood to be investigating following a report from the Auditor General in which it was claimed certain issues regarding negotiations between the failed UK-based racing organisation and the Gold Coast Motor Events Corporation were suspect. Indeed, there is talk of London's Metropolitan Police and even Interpol being called in to investigate the deal.

At the heart of the investigation is the question as to how organizers of the event could have agreed the deal with A1 GP without being fully aware of the precarious position the series was in, indeed, in an article for Pitpass late last year, editor Chris Balfe revealed that the entire A1 GP operation had been impounded immediately after the Brands Hatch season finale in May. Thereby posing the question, how could a race take place when all the equipment was still under lock and key at Dunsfold Aerodrome - where much of Top Gear is shot - courtesy of locations logistics company Delivered on Time Ltd, one of the series' numerous creditors.

According to reports in Australia, the fallout from the fiasco has cost taxpayers 4.3m AUD with the Government forced to pay 2.5m AUD million to get out of a partnership with IMG and 1.8m AUD from a payment made to the A1GP group a day after it went into liquidation.

Tony Teixeira, a co-founder of the series, and who is thought to have owned 8% of A1 GP once it finally went under - the remaining 92% thought to be owned by RAB Capital - has been linked with a number of F1 teams in recent times, most notably Campos Meta.

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