Smith & Williamson administrators called in to Caterham

ADMINSITRATORS from Smith & Williamson have taken over full management responsibility of the Caterham Formula One team in order to find a buyer for the stricken racing team.

Fellow struggling Formula One team Marussia also appears close to collapse. On 7 October, Manor Grand Prix Racing, the company which runs Marussia, filed a notice with the High Court saying that it intends to appoint an administrator, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Finbarr O’Connell and Henry Shinners, administrators from Smith & Williamson, have been called into manufacturer Caterham Sports Limited in addition to taking over ownership of licence holder 1MRT.

On this basis the administrators now have the ability to sell the Caterham Formula One team including the operations at Leafield, the Caterham F1 team site in Oxfordshire.

“This includes the Formula One licence, the racing cars, the designs and intellectual property for current and future seasons plus the workforce and all of the technical support provided to the racing team by CSL from the Leafield Technical Centre,” explained Shinners, administrator from Smith & Williamson.

The administrators added that Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said, in a telephone conversation with O’Connell, that he would support the administrators in their wish to sell the team to a party with the financial strength to sustain it into the future.

Ecclestone also agreed to give dispensation to Caterham F1 such that it could if necessary miss the US and Brazilian Grands Prix but hoped that a new owner would be in a position to race the team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the administrators said.

The administrators said they have already been contacted by a number of interested parties expressing a wish to buy the team and they hope that a transaction with an operator of substantial financial means can be concluded in the next few weeks.

It is hoped that any purchaser of the F1 team will take over the employees and that they will be able to recommence their work including that at the Leafield site,” said O’Connell.

“We believe this arrangement gives us a much better chance of being able to reach a better conclusion for the racing team and its creditors

“While this is a great step forward in making the whole team and assets more attractive, there is no need for the staff of 1MRT to return to the Oxford site in Leafield until a sale of the Formula 1 team occurs.

“This is a difficult situation which is not of our making. We regret any personal impact on 1MRT’s employees. As administrators for CSL, we are seeking to maximise the outcome for its creditors and other stakeholders.”

Marussia was not immediately available for comment.

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