MidEast investors part of deal to buy struggling F1 team

Caterham confirm deal with consortium of Swiss and Middle East investors to take over Formula One team

Middle East-based investers have formed part of a consortium that has bought Caterham Group's Formula One team, it has been announced.

The UK-based Caterham Group confirmed that it has sold its F1 team to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors led by Colin Kolles.

No further details were disclosed about who the Middle East investors are.

The team’s target is to move up from last in the championship at present to tenth place before the end of the season. Caterham are yet to score a point in the 86 races they have participated in.

In a statement, the company said all other Caterham Group brands – Caterham Cars, Caterham Composites, Caterham Technology & Innovation, Caterham Racing, Caterham Moto Racing Team and Caterham Bikes, remain as core elements of Caterham Group under the direction of CEO Graham Macdonald and shareholders Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun.

The sale of Caterham F1 Team now allows Caterham Group to focus on its core activities and continue to see them develop and flourish, the statement said.

Caterham F1 entered the world's top racing competition in 2012, having previously operated as Team Lotus in the 2011 season. The team maintained the green and yellow livery previously used when Team Lotus.

Under the terms of the sale, the team will continue to race as Caterham F1 Team and will remain based in the UK for the foreseeable future.

The new ownership takes charge with immediate effect. Former Dutch F1 driver, Christijan Albers, assisted by Manfredi Ravetto, will take over the day-to-day running of the team, reporting directly to the board.

Albers said:"We are aware of the huge challenge ahead of us given the fight at the bottom end of the Championship and our target now is to aim for tenth place in the 2014 Championship. We are very committed to the future of the team and we will ensure that the team has the necessary resources to develop and grow and achieve everything it is capable of."

Graham Macdonald, Caterham Group CEO, added: “Firstly I want to thank everyone who was involved in the F1 team for all their hard work and dedication. It was an incredible rollercoaster ride, one that had several very high points, but too many lows, and for that reason we decided to hand it on to a group of people who we believe will be able to help the team unlock its full potential.

"It didn’t work for us, but we wish the team and everyone associated with it the very best of luck and when they score their first point we will all be cheering louder than anyone.

“The future for us now lies with all the exciting brands that make up Caterham Group. We have ambitious, exciting plans for each of our businesses and our core focus is still on launching the brand new two-seat Caterham Car, a project we will be making more announcements about in due course.”

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