Will Lotus staff get their salaries paid on time this month?
23 November, 2013
The situation at Lotus appears to be getting bleaker by the day amid questions raised about the legitimacy of their prospective investors – Quantum Motorsport – and now the possibility that the Enstone workforce will not be paid on time this month.
Bild newspaper claims to have received a copy of an email allegedly sent by Lotus CEO Patrick Louis informing staff of, and apologising for, a delay in payment of their salaries this month.
It is no secret that the Enstone outfit, owned by Genii Capital – headed by Director Eric Lux and ChairmanGerard Lopez – is desperately seeking an investor to inject much needed cash into the stricken team. Word is that Genii are pumping around $8 million dollars into the outfit every month to keep it afloat, and unless a deal is struck very soon the situation could become irreversible.
Manssor Ijaz, apparently fronting the Quantum consortium, is adamant that the deal is done and that it is merely red tape regarding the transfer of big funds that is the cause of the delay. However this has not stopped him from declaring on his website that he is “an owner of the Lotus F1 Formula 1 team.”
Should the lack of funds to pay employees be true, this merely serves to compound troubled times for the team whose financial problems came into public domain when Kimi Raikkonen revealed that he had not been paid ‘a single euro’ by the team. He has since departed the team prematurely, and has signed to return to Ferrari for 2014.
Shortly before Raikkonen opted to take sick leave and sort out a back injury, Ijaz declared, “I met with Kimi’s manager last night, Steve Robertson…I’ve apologised to Steve, we’ve apologised to Kimi. We intend to not only make sure that [the unpaid wages] are made whole, and then some, we are intending to also compensate our employees and management team.”
“I am confident that [Raikkonen] will run the last two races and fulfil his professional obligations to us and us to him,” added the US-based businessman, whose prediction did not hold.
Ironically, despite the off track shenanigans, on track the team is performing at the highest level with Romain Grosjean finishing second at the recent United States GP.
This is the email which is alleged to have come from the desk of Louis:
Sent: Fri 22/11/2013
To: Enstone Employees
I am very sorry to report that there may be a few days delay this month in paying salaries. We will do everything that we can to sort this out so that we can meet the usual payment date and expect the worst case scenario to be payment by the end of the month.
We thought it best to notify you in advance so that you can make arrangements to have funds in place to meet any scheduled outgoings and avoid any bank charges being incurred unnecessarily.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you in advance for your understanding whilst we work to address this matter in the shortest time frame possible.
Note: We have requested and are awaiting confirmation from the Lotus media office on the authenticity of the email. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.