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Mallya dismisses talk of Force India sale

NEWS STORY
10/06/2017

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya has dismissed media claims that he is looking to sell the team.

Mallya, who was arrested in April on behalf of the Indian authorities in relation to accusations of fraud, is back in court next week for an extradition hearing.

Authorities in India have been seeking Mallya's extradition for some time, the flamboyant billionaire facing numerous charges of financial irregularity at the, now defunct, Kingfisher Airline. Though he denies any wrongdoing, Mallya is claimed to owe numerous banks around 600m ($1bn).

In the wake of his arrest, there were claims that Mallya is seeking to sell his team, which in finishing fourth in the 2016 standings achieved its best ever result. Among the names being linked with the Silverstone based outfit are David Brabham and a certain Bernard Charles Ecclestone.

In the 70s and 80s, Ecclestone owned the Surrey-based outfit founded by the legendary Jack Brabham, the only driver to win the title in a car built by his own team, following the sale of the team in 1988 the team went through several changes of ownership - and a few scandals - before finally expiring mid-1992 having given Damon Hill his F1 debut.

Speaking to talkSPORT however, Mallya denied that he is looking to sell the team.

"There have been no conversations with Brabham, I haven't even met them," he said. "Bernie and me are good friends, we will always continue to be good friends and there is absolutely no talk whatsoever on a sale of this team."

Of his own predicament, he added: "These extradition proceedings are based on various allegations made by the government of India and now the matter is before a UK judge, I am not going to comment further.

"As far as the ownership of Force India is concerned, whether I continue to live in the UK or am sent back to India, the ownership structure of the team does not change at all. These extradition proceedings have nothing to do with either the ownership or the management of the team."

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