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Marussia auction off as investor emerges

2015-01-20 08:26

DOMINO EFFECT: Formula 1 team Marussia's collapse has affected several creditors, among them Ferrari and McLaren. Image: AFP / Yuri Kadobnov

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - Hopes of reviving the failed Marussia Formula 1 team were revived slightly on Monday after an auction of its cars and equipment was postponed to allow talks with a new investor.

The 2014 race cars, spares and race equipment were to have been auctioned on Wednesday (Jan 21 2015) but administrators FRP Advisory said it had been "halted to allow for discussions to continue with a third party".

"Given the confidential nature of the negotiations under way we are unable to provide further details," a statement added.

'TIME TO EXPLORE'

John Booth, ex-principal of the Banbury-based team when its went into administration and missed the final three races of 2014, told the BBC he hoped there could be a deal in time for the start of the 2015 season on March 15. He said talks were "at a fairly advanced stage with a new investor, a credible investor."

"Postponing the auction gives us a bit more time to explore it."

Marussia, which ceased trading in November 2014 and made its staff redundant, still has an entry to the 2015 championship as Manor Grand Prix but would need its 2014 cars to compete. And the International Automobile Federation has said it was willing to let struggling teams race with 2014-year cars if it would help them to survive.

Booth said the cars were still in in Abu Dhabi, to which country they were sent at the end of the 2014 season in a failed attempt to compete.. He said it would be "fairly straightforward" to ready them for the first 2015 race in Melbourne, Australia.

FERRARI OWED R290m

Marussia was one of two teams that went into administration in October 2014. Rival Caterham also missed two races but returned for the finale. Caterham is also looking for a new owner but its hope of competing is fading as the start of the season nears.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

If Marussia does find a buyer it will still have to do a deal with Ferrari which "power units" and is owed the equivalent of about R290-million.

Marussia has more than 200 creditors, the biggest Lloyds Development Capital which is owed the equivalent of R230-million, its debt was secured by the team's assets. Most of the rest areunsecured.

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