Uralkali gets backing of US Court over Force India sale


The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has issued an order compelling Mr. John D. Idol, the CEO of Michael Kors, to provide documents in his possession which are relevant to Uralkali's claims brought in the U.K. against the administrators of Force India Formula One Team.

Uralkali, the Russian potash fertilizer producer and exporter, of which Dmitry Mazepin is a non-executive director, is taking legal action against the administrators of the Force India F1 team questioning the process by which the consortium led by Lawrence Stroll bought the Silverstone-based outfit, having claimed the process may not have been "in the best interests of Force India's creditors and stakeholders, and the sport in general".

Along with the action against Mr. Idol, a member of the consortium formed in connection with the bid for Force India, Uralkali has filed a similar application against another member of the consortium, John McCaw Jr., which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, while similar applications against other members of the consortium are being considered.

The applications were made to obtain information relevant to the claim filed by Uralkali on September 28 in the High Court of London against the joint administrators of Force India, Geoffrey Paul Rowley and Jason Daniel Baker, seeking damages caused by their misrepresentations and negligence in conducting the bid process for the sale of Force India.

According to a statement issued by the company, "Uralkali continues to pursue its claim and looks forward to proving the administrators' liability for selecting Racing Point's inferior bid over that put forward by Uralkali".

As the case develops it will be interesting to see if the FIA is eventually drawn into this along with the consortium members, for in a press release issued in the wake of the administrators accepting the Racing Point bid, the FIA issued a press release in which Jean Todt was the very first to comment on the move, stating that: "since the Force India Formula One Team Limited was placed into administration on 27 July, the FIA has worked in collaboration with the Joint Administrators (Geoff Rowley and Jason Baker of FRP Advisory LLP), Racing Point UK Limited and Formula One Management to ensure the expedient and compliant transition of the team's assets to the new entrant".

Which effectively means that from the day that Force India went into administration, the FIA's clear aim was for Racing Point to be the new F1 entrant.

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Published: 21/12/2018
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