Renault paid ??1 to buy Lotus

Company accounts have revealed that Renault paid just £1 to take over the Lotus Formula One team in December.

The French manufacturer purchased a 90 percent stake in the team, with previous majority shareholders Genii Capital/Gravity Motorsports retaining a combined total of 10 percent.

In order to sell the 90 percent stake, Genii first had to purchase 6,744,444 shares from Whiterock Alliance Ltd to take full ownership of the team.

Renault then purchased 90 percent of the company through Grigny Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary firm, with the token £1 payment and by writing off £98.2 million in debt which Lotus had accrued through shareholder loans.

Grigny was formed in 1977 but was known as Benetton Ltd between December 1979 and March 2000, when Renault purchased the Benetton F1 team.

The French manufacturer continued to own the team under Grigny until Genii took ownership.

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