Russian oligarch wins bidding rights to Blackpool Automotive
22 February 2007

The company responsible for the sale of TVR has issued a statement naming the new owner of the marque's 'trademarks, vehicle stock, work-in-progress, and its manufacturing plant and equipment'; rather confusingly, it's Nikolai Smolenski.The Russian oligarch created Blackpool Automotive, the company that has (or rather, hasn't) just changed hands, in order to protect the company's assets before it entered administration earlier in the year.It had been reported that Smolenski's intentions were to hive-off TVR's trademark and its intellectual property into a separate company in order to be able to make a new start for TVR away from its Blackpool home.It now appears that, due to a mistake made somewhere down the line, the Russian has had to buy back that which he thought he could do without – the lion's share of the company he bought from Peter Wheeler in 2004 for £15 million, in other words – for 'an undisclosed fee' which Autocar understands must be somewhere in the region of £2 million.Uncertainty about the British sports car maker's future is sure to rumble on until Smolenski makes a statement about his plans for the company in light of this announcement. When he does, you can be sure that Autocar will bring you word first. Meanwhile, the entirety of the statement issued earlier by Blackpool Automotive's administrators, PKF Partners, is below.

Thursday 22 February 2007Blackpool Automotive Limited in AdministrationPKF Partners and Joint Administrators of Blackpool Automotive Limited yesterday evening completed the sale of the main assets of the company for an undisclosed sum to a company controlled by Nikolai Smolensky.The sale included the TVR trademarks, certain vehicle stock, work-in-progress, and the manufacturing plant and equipment.In a statement, joint administrators Philip Long, Kerry Bailey and Matthew Gibson said:"Having advertised the assets of the company to the open market, we are confident we have achieved the best possible price in the circumstances and we are now looking to return money to the creditors as quickly as possible."While we had a significant number of companies expressing an interest, four demonstrated they had the funds required to enter a bidding process.Ultimately, Mr Smolensky's company came in with the highest offer."Ends.

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