DBR-Hicom – owners of Proton and Lotus – have rejected an offer for Lotus and are intent on nursing it back to health.
The rumours surrounding the fate of Lotus - especially after the Dany Bahar saga – have been rumbling around the car world for a long time.
Will DRB-Hicom – who bought Proton, owners of Lotus, in 2011 – cut and run, or will they see Lotus as a possible jewel in their crown to be nursed back to health? We may have the answer.
It’s been revealed by DRB-Hicom MD Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil that they received on offer – of £1 – for Lotus from an unnamed foreign car maker (could that be VW?) to take Lotus away and take on its problems and debts.
Those debts amount to at least £207 million – the amount Lotus had drawn down from a syndicated £270 million loan before the banks pulled the plug a year ago – and it must have been a tempting offer for DBR Hicom to walk away. Instead, Mohd Kamil was bullish about DRB’s future with Lotus. He said:
The easy way out was to accept the offer. As a businessman, that was what I could have done to cut the loss, move on.
But looking at the intrinsic value of Lotus, the knowledge, the iconic brand with global presence and positioning, coupled with unsurpassed engineering expertise and a talented workforce, its ability to cross function with Proton.
We believe we have a business plan that will work for Lotus. If I sell without trying, at the end of the day, I will fail my shareholders.
Mohd Kamil went on to say that DRB-Hicom had met with bankers who have forgiven the Lotus default and expect to be able to draw down the remaining £43 million loan to invest in the future of Lotus.
All very positive – now we just need to know what the future plans are.
Lotus Concept Cars Photos