Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar is looking for financial partners in order to buy the British sports car maker from current owners Proton, according to a report in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Proton has had control of Lotus since 1996.
The Times’ report suggested that Bahar wants a partner with ability to fund Lotus’s future model plans to the tune of £500m.
However, according to the report, the loss-making sports car maker is also being stalked by Genii Capital, which already owns the Lotus F1 team. Genii is said to have been examining the Lotus business for some time and is ‘close to completing due diligence’.
If true, both potential buyers are positioning themselves for a possible Lotus sale within the next few months.
In December last year, Proton was sold to DRB-Hicom, one of Malaysia’s largest corporations, which builds and distributing vehicles, as well as building cars under licence for Honda.
Agency reports from Malaysia in the middle of January quoted Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil, managing director of DRB-HICOM, as saying that his company would have ‘to sit down and look at all the plans and operations of Lotus’ before deciding to whether to ‘sell or stick with’ Lotus.
‘I need to sit down with the management of Lotus and Proton to see whether the plans are workable as soon as possible’ Khamil Jamil is quoted as telling the Malaysian press.