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Force India has officially left Indian hands, as the team’s administrators have accepted a bid from a consortium of investors led by Lawrence Stroll. As debts on the Formula One team continued to pile on ahead of the Hungarian GP, the team went into administration on Friday as the parties involved tried to find an amicable way to save the team. However, late on Tuesday, senior administrators at Force India confirmed that a consortium, led by Stroll, had been assembled with the assistance of Force India’s chief operations officer Otmar Szafnauer and the team’s senior management.

Lance Stroll’s consortium comprises of fellow investors Canadian entrepreneur Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of Monaco Sports and Management, fashion business leader John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jr, financial expert Michael de Picciotto and Stroll’s business partner Silas Chou. The deal which stipulates that the investors were bound to clear the company’s solvency was signed last year. According to the new contract, Force India’s new owners are expected to pay creditors in full, while the 405 people that are currently employed by the team will get to keep their jobs as well. Under the new regime, the ownership of the Force India Formula One team transfers from Vijay Mallya and Orange India Holdings Sarl.

The buy-out could be considered a crucial pivot for the team that owed money to several creditors, notably Mercedes and driver Sergio Perez, who used his unpaid wages to start a chain of events that ultimately led to Force India being put into administration at the request of senior members of the team. At this stage, Force India needs the change of ownership to continue to be competitive, as it will allow them to commission suppliers to produce upgraded parts, which will be crucial in its championship battle. As of now, the team is currently sixth in the constructors’ contest, seven points behind Haas and 23 behind fourth-placed Renault.

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© copyright — The Financial Express

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