Mallya says he had lost count of how many offers he had received for the team, and expected that to continue with changes in the distribution of prize money expected from 2021
Force India’s shareholders would consider serious offers for the British-based Formula One team but there are none at present, according to co-owner and principal.
The Indian businessman, who has a 42.5 per cent stake, said there was a possibility of main sponsor BWT getting more involved and changing the team’s name.
“If somebody comes along and wants to pay an attractive price for anything, you have to put your commercial hat on and think about it commercially, not emotionally,” Mallya told Reuters at the British Grand Prix. “And that’s precisely where I am.
“I cannot comment on the status of offers or discussions. But there is no agreed offer on the table backed by cash.”
Mallya is fighting in court against extradition to India on fraud charges, with Indian banks seeking to recover loans granted to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
His difficulties and those of co-owners Sahara Group have triggered speculation about the team’s future. But Mallya insisted they had no bearing on the day-to-day running of the team.
India’s Sahara conglomerate has been ordered to repay billions of dollars to investors in bonds that were ruled to have been mis-sold.
“Sahara’s problems and my problems are not new problems. They have been going on for more than three years. And within that period we have finished twice in fourth position in the world constructors’ championship,” said Mallya.
“This team is independent, it’s professionally managed. And it performs. So whatever difficulties the shareholders may or may not have, it doesn’t impact the team.”
Mallya said he had lost count of how many offers he had received for the team over the last 10 years and expected that to continue with changes in the distribution of prize money expected from 2021.
“When Liberty (Media) took over (the sport last year) and everybody thought things would change, there was serious interest from even private equity,” he said.