Caterham issues denial of sale speculation
The Caterham Group has denied widespread reports that it is up for sale, dismissing speculation as "factually incorrect". A press release said instead that the group was "actively searching for additional investment as it seeks to fulfil ambitious plans to develop".
The sale news was first reported in The Edge which said a memorandum on the sale was being circulated in the Middle East, for the Caterham Group - including the road car company and the Formula One team - with a price tag of around £350 million.
"We love what we build and we are always looking for further investment," said Tony Fernandes. "This is no different to how we started AirAsia. Yes, we are constantly challenging ourselves and making decisions on everything from the structure to projects within the Group. That is normal business. That does not mean we are selling."
With little to celebrate on the track, Fernandes' patience appeared to be running out when three months ago he said that if the team remained at the back "I don't think we're going to carry on" adding: "After five years and to get no points, there's a limit to everyone's patience, money etc. I think if we are going to every race and are not competing, two seconds behind everyone else, then we haven't made any progress. If we are not competing then we have got to seriously examine ourselves as to whether this makes sense."
Since then Caterham has shown little improvement and is still waiting for its first point. Although it equalled its best finish - 11th - at Monaco, that was because of the high attrition rate among other cars. Fernandes' and Caterham's mood would not have been helped by rivals Marussia gaining its first points thanks to to Jules Bianchi's ninth place.
On the road car side of the company, Caterham has ambitious plans to extend its range beyond the long-standing Seven sports car. However, recent reports suggest a project to platform share with Renault on a new mid-engined sports car have fallen through, with both companies pursuing their own individual projects.