Uralkali chases Formula 1 in the court of London

In London, the process began on the claim of the Russian company against the bankruptcy trustees of Force India.
In the High Court of London began the consideration of the case, opened by the statement of "BRIC", which last year unsuccessfully tried to buy the team "Formula 1" Force India (now Racing Point). The Russian company is demanding compensation for the “substantial damage” inflicted on it by bankruptcy trustees who led the Force India bankruptcy process and preferred the application of Canadian entrepreneur Lawrence Stroll, father of Racing Point rider Lance Stroll. Note that the son of the controlling shareholder of Uralkali, Dmitry Mazepin, Nikita is also a racer.

The company Uralkali announced the start of consideration of its lawsuit to the external manager of the Formula 1 team Force India Jeffrey Rowley and Jason Baker. In a statement, Uralkali notes that "on July 17, the High Court of London held a preliminary meeting and approved a timetable for further action before the main court hearing, which is scheduled to take place between October and December 2020." In Uralkali they stated that the court ordered the parties, prior to the commencement of the case, to “disclose correspondence and other documentation relating to bargaining, as well as to give testimony in April 2020.”

Uralkali protested the actions of Messrs Rowley and Baker last summer. They were external managers in the bankruptcy case of the Formula 1 team, Force India. The total debt of the company, which since 2007 was owned by an Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallye, who was accused of being involved in money laundering (13 Indian banks tried to recover $ 1 billion), was € 178 million. There were two key contenders for control over the team. The first is Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, whose son Lance Stroll has been with Williams since 2017, but immediately after his father bought the Force India and renamed it Racing Point, he moved to this team. The second is Uralkali. The son of his controlling shareholder, Dmitry Mazepin, Nikita, in 2018, was just a test-pilot of Force India. This season, Mazepin Jr. performs in Formula 2.

In a statement, "BRIC" notes that the company filed a "very competitive offer to acquire the entire business of Force India."

Depending on the structure of the transaction, the sale of the team could bring its shareholders from £ 101.5 million to £ 122 million. At Uralkali they believe that after meeting the “creditors' claims and managing expenses”, the team’s shareholders would have left more than £ 40 million which "could be used to meet any possible demands from interested parties."

External managers preferred the application of Lawrence Stroll, despite the fact that it did not provide for a full-fledged purchase of Force India (the acquisition of a legal entity with all its assets, tangible and intangible, including a license to perform in Formula 1) (machines, base, equipment, etc.) and transfer them to the balance of the new structure. Uralkali also notes that its proposal to “hold tenders in the form of each participant submitting the best and final proposal in a sealed envelope” was rejected by the managers.

As a result, according to Uralkali, “substantial damage” was inflicted on it, “caused by a biased and biased approach during the bidding process”. However, in response to a request from “Kommersant” to designate the size of “substantial damage” in Uralkali, they stated that “the company decided to leave its statement without comment.”