Uralkali's Force India takeover case to be heard in 2020

Force India F1 Car

A court case over the sale of the Force India Formula 1 team will be heard in late 2020, it has been confirmed.

Russian potash producer Uralkali is suing FRP Advisory LLP's Geoffrey Paul Rowley and Jason Daniel Baker, who acted as administrators to the Force India team last year, after it claims to have submitted a higher bid for the team, but ultimately lost out to a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, who now controls the outfit under the Racing Point banner.

Uralkali, which is partially owned by Formula 2 racer Nikita Mazepin's father, Dmitry, is seeking "substantial damages" for what it claims was a "flawed sales process which ignored a higher bid for the business".

It's claimed Uralkali submitted a bid of between £101.5 million and £122 million for the team "depending on the specific structure of other bids".

"The offer proposed sufficient funding to satisfy the claims of all creditors in full and included an undertaking to provide significant working capital and a new investment program over a five-year term to ensure the future success of Force India," a company statement said.

"The Company estimates that, after repayment of all valid claims of creditors and administrator’s costs its proposal would have resulted in more than £40 million being available to Force India`s shareholders and, consequently, further used as a source of repayment of any stakeholder claims."

It went on to add: "Based on facts confirmed to us by the Administrators, the bid accepted by the Administrators was significantly inferior to Uralkali’s bid. Uralkali’s bid should therefore have been the winner."

The matter is due to be heard in London's High Court between October and December 2020, with all involved parties required to submit evidence related to the case in April next year.