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Manor creditors to get 1.3p in the Pound

NEWS STORY
16/03/2015

Creditors of the stricken Manor Formula One team are getting just 1.3 pence in the Pound according to a report in the Daily Telegraph by Christian Sylt.

The team crashed into administration in October last year and although it was rescued last month it failed to race at yesterday's season-opener in Australia putting its future in doubt.

According to documents released on Friday by administrators FRP Advisory, the team was rescued with a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) which required "a contribution to be made by a third party to enable 500,000 to be available to unsecured creditors with an estimated distribution of 1.262p in the pound. This is subject to change once all creditors have lodged claims and claims have been adjudicated." It means that, as things stand, anyone owed money by Manor will not get around 99% of it.

The biggest losers in this sorry state of affairs are the people and companies which are owed money by Manor and there are a lot of them. More than 200 creditors are owed a total of 31.4m but they will only get a tiny fraction of it. It is a trail of destruction that hits the companies at the grass-roots of F1 the hardest.

Three of the biggest unpaid bills are 1m owed to Pirelli, 7.1m due to McLaren for providing wind-tunnel and simulator services and 15.2m to Ferrari for supplying the team's V6 engines. However, lower down the list of creditors come companies with far lower resources.

Hospitality firm Freeman's is owed 959,984.88 meaning that it will get just 12,115.01. That's a loss of 947,000. Think about that for a moment before lamenting Manor's failed efforts to race in Australia. Transport firm Circuit 2 Circuit is due 114,126.40 but will only get a paltry 1,440.28 whilst hospitality expert Lynden Swainston will be paid just 651.77 of the 51,645.84 she is owed. Formula Medicine, the physiotherapy firm run by Robert Kubica's former doctor Riccardo Ceccarelli, has not been paid 34,028.38 and will only get 429.39. There are many, many more casualties.

The irony is that many members of the media applauded Manor's attempt to get to Australia. One claimed that that team's story "gives everyone hope." Tell that to the creditors who won't be seeing 99% of the money they are owed.

Having caused financial grief to so many companies at the core of the sport it could be argued that Manor should not have been welcomed back, by the F1 community.

It emerged from administration with backing from Stephen Fitzpatrick, boss of Ovo Energy, whilst Justin King, the former boss of Sainsbury's, has been appointed as its chairman. They may already have the red light because Manor missed three races after it collapsed last year and just days ago F1's boss Bernie Ecclestone said it "would be history" if it skips any more.

If the team collapses again the unsecured creditors will still be paid the 500,000 as it was a condition of the CVA. However, ironically, the team's secured creditor may not be so lucky. It has a secured debt of 25.4m which was originally payable to Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), the private equity division of Lloyds Banking Group.

LDC provided the funding to set up the team in 2010 and became its majority shareholder. Its performance spluttered on track and the team scored just two points since joining F1.

Although LDC eventually sold its stake to Marussia, the Russian sports car manufacturer which the team was named after, it was still owed 25.4m from a loan it provided. The documents reveal that in January LDC assigned its debt to Just Racing Limited which is controlled by Vincent Casey, head of corporate finance at Ovo Energy.

The debt is secured on all of the team's assets but their combined value has reduced significantly since it went into administration. In December FRP held an auction at the team's Oxfordshire factory for nearly 1,000 pieces of its equipment including steering wheels, gearboxes and race suits. The factory itself was sold for 2m, three times less than its book value, to American tycoon Gene Haas who will field a new F1 team in 2016.

A second auction was due to take place but according to the documents this changed after the team "received 50,000 from the potential investor In January 2015 to delay the auction and allow a period of time to investigate the possibility of the survival of the Company through a CVA."

According to the documents, the team is owed 1.5m and although FRP had hoped to obtain 150,000 of it, just 201 has been paid to date.

The red ink began to accelerate in the year to 31 December 2013 when Marussia made a net loss of 11m on revenue of 61.2m. It didn't let up last year when its net loss came to 29.2m on revenue of 24.7m over the eight months to 31 August.

Its main source of funding was investment from Marussia's ultimate owner Russian businessman Andrei Cheglakov. It went into administration in October when Mr Cheglakov stopped paying the bills and most of its 170 staff were made redundant the following month. Although some staff were hired to get the team to Australia, their future is yet again unclear.

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1. Posted by KoosOos, 18/03/2015 5:38

"First of all the owner of the team could have payed all the bills with no trouble but he did not. He decided it did not make financially sens for him. The owner of the team is at fault here not Mr BE. Secondly a lot of you ppl for get that for ever pound F1 makes more teams gets 67% of it. So if MR BE makes F1 a 100 Milj pounds more a year the teams takes 67 milj Pounds of it. Thirdly If your country is not willing to help pay for the a F1 race it is not Mr BE fault. He has to make money not just for him self but for the teams too and if another country is willing to pay that amount then so be it. The more money a F1 makes the more money there is for the teams. Fourthly Giving the smaller teams more money will not help them it will only make the cost of F1 much higher. Do ppl think that teams lick Merc, Ferrari and may by Red Bull will not spend more money to win. The funny thing is is a person spends more money that he has and he goes under it is the persons fault but when a F1 team spends money he does not have and goes under it is some one elses fault.
No the reason most teams are in financial trouble is because they spend more money then they have and that is no ones fault but there owen. "

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2. Posted by Chris SA, 17/03/2015 14:53

"What would they have received if this Manor transaction never took place? Sadly I think even less. Please do not blame Manor for taking over the team. Mr BE is directly to blame for this mess, pay the teams to compete, its them and all of them that make the sport. The wheels of destruction are turning quickly now, there will be no stopping the destruction within the next year if it’s not sorted out. Greed will be the killer."

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3. Posted by TokyoAussie, 17/03/2015 3:56

"Further indicative of the malaise that F1 is in, which everyone can see, but which nobody does anything about. Follow the money.

Bernie keeps jacking up costs of staging a race, and attending a race, to the point where it is unjustifiably expensive. CVC takes so much out of F1, and gives precisely (very precisely) zero in return. Tracks lose money on their biggest day of the year, unless they have "government" support. They do not have access to their own sponsors; Bernie controls and takes that too. And general punters darn near need to take out a bank loan to attend a race, especially if they want to take their kids.

The FIA introduces rules that end up costing teams more than is sensible just to compete. The teams overextend themselves in order to compete, because there are no limits, sending them bust. The big teams will always spend whatever it takes to win, but the price of just competing is off the chart. Bernie, naturally, wants team costs reduced, but not for the sport's sake. All the teams "talk" about reducing costs, but never agree on anything.

This bubble has to burst at some point. This could easily be the year it happens; the pieces are in place right now. And as the article rightly points out, it is the suppliers that have an awful lot more on the line than just 2 hours of TV entertainment every 2 weeks. Common sense has to prevail at some point, you would think."

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4. Posted by Paddock, 16/03/2015 16:34

"As most of the suppliers also supplied Caterham, this is going to be a double hit for them.. as I doubt if they will see much more from them when their assets are sold over the coming few months..

So far the biggest bill will be Renault and Finbarr O'Connell... Then everyone else, including staff who are still owed expenses from their payroll and missing pension fund deductions. The former staff will be on the same list as the other creditors, so if they only get 1p in the pound, then there will be some pretty upset ex staff and suppliers.

I have spoken to several F1 suppliers who have been hit by both teams, and they all say the same now... "Motorsport? No thanks...." or "Yes sure... payment up-front please..."

Add to that the problems that Force India are having with cash flow... (Late car to aid CFD-Wind tunnel development? Not what I've heard... late car due to late payment of bills and suppliers already hit by Marussia/Caterham sucking the cash-flow dry by insisting on proforma payments). Lotus are in slightly better shape, but not great. McLaren do not have a title sponsor either. Cash-Flow in F1 is drying up and people will get hurt again.

The ones I feel desperately sorry for are the staff and the suppliers. They are the ones who get hit in the b...ank accounts the hardest.

I applaud Manor for making to Australia, bit I also feel it's a massive kick in the plums for all those ex staff still owed money, and suppliers who helped them out to then get 1.3p for every pound owed.

F1 needs controlling.. It cannot keep spending money like it did when there was tobacco branding on the flying fag packets they called cars. Someone needs to get a grip of it and soon, otherwise more teams will go. More heartbreak for suppliers. Less credit available to the teams, which will hit them in the bank account too.

I got out of it. I should have done it earlier but was sucked in by the lies of the people who said "all will be fine". People should not be able to just turn their back on the team and walk away... people like Cheglakov and Fernandes need to understand that by doing so, that they hurt nearly 400 families at Christmas; and the fall out for suppliers is still on-going nearly 6 months later.

Bernie needs to get a grip of the sport and shake it up from the roots to the top. Australia was a dismal pathetic excuse of a race. 12 cars finished.. less than last year with the start of a new engine formula; and no real racing to speak of.

I think I have some paint I need to watch drying.
"

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5. Posted by scf1fan, 16/03/2015 16:02

"So, despite the hand wringing and hyperbole of this article (yes the small fry are always the ones that are going to get hurt the most when companies default on their obligations; i.e. just ask the US tax payers (or the world for that matter) in reference to AIG!) but what is this article telling us? That the folks from Manor/Marrusia were criminal? Negligent? Incompetent? That they should now be shunned like lepers for trying to salvage something from the chaos?

Frankly I would say they were just over confident in a system the PENALIZES the back markers! Also, is the author trying to make the point that the effort of M/M to get back to the grid is less than honorable? Would NOT being on the grid help those aggrieved suppliers more? No! Financially what's done is done and fortunately or not, that is the legal process. Take it as lessons learned; now what's the best way to move on?

The lesson I see is that, unless you have very deep pockets, it is impossible under the current prize money structure to start up a F1 team. Typically the back markers are building a car, capable of (if not so reliably) performing within 107% of the most technologically sophisticated vehicles on the planet for no prize money. And how many advertisers are wanting to throw money at the back markers? So those teams have no other choice but to borrow from the future to pay for their costs today . . . and as we know, often the future doesn't work out the way we want it to.

Probably, from a business sense, it would have been better for M/M to have quietly folded what was left of their tents and slinked away . . . On the other hand, in the long run, it might be better for F1 to see the process of a team in the death throws of (cash) asphyxiation to provide the motivation for some action. Bernie's "3 car teams" is not the answer!
"

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6. Posted by alfsboy, 16/03/2015 12:14

"Uncle Ron and Honda to the rescue? His Ronfullness and Justin are shooting buddies."

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7. Posted by fatlass123, 16/03/2015 11:00

"Personally I find this whole sorry state disgusting and immoral. It is just another case of greed for greed’s sake. The thought that a few wealthy people can even think of making a quick buck from other peoples misery, turns my stomach.
This is not just a slap in the face for the former Marussia staff, their creditors and F1 as a whole but legalised sodomy as they are now being asked to bend over and drop their trousers while Marussia has one last F**?.
So far since raising like a phoenix from the ashes all they have managed to do is bang another nail into the coffin of F1
My personal opinion is that with just 15 cars on the grid for the start of the World’s most iconic motorsport series, maybe F1is heading down the same track as Marussia?
"

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