It was announced yesterday that Indian conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar is set to sell its stake in the Force India Formula 1 team as part of an ongoing legal case against owner Subrata Roy, who was accused of fraud and jailed back in March 2014.
Sahara had been ordered to pay back hundreds of millions to investors, but failed to do so and was therefore jailed by India’s Supreme Court almost two years ago.
However, the courts have grown tired of waiting and is considering appointing its own receiver to sell off Sahara’s assets to raise the necessary funds to pay back investors it claims were duped by Roy. In reaction to this, the Indian businessman has also requested permission to dispose of certain assets in order to raise around $450 million (£312m).
His 42.5 per cent stake of the Force India F1 team, purchased back in 2011 for $100m (£70m), is one of those assets amongst various hotels and aircraft, including Grosvenor House in London.
Sahara’s stake is equal to that of team founder Vijay Mallya, whilst the remaining 15 per cent is owned by the Mol family.
If a sale goes through ahead of the 2016 season, Force India could undergo a name change, dropping ‘Sahara’ from its title.