FEBRUARY 28, 2002
TWR acquires Prost!
THE Tom Walkinshaw Racing organization has apparently agreed a deal to buy elements of the defunct Prost Grand Prix. According to well-connected sources in Paris, the Tribunal de Commerce in Versailles has agreed to sell to the TWR company the Prost F1 entry (worth something like $12m), the 2001 cars and the intellectual property rights to the 2002 car for a sum reported to be only a couple of million dollars.
Extraordinarily, the talented Mr. Walkinshaw has managed to convince the French legal people that TWR should not be liable for any of the debts of Prost, nor responsible for what happens to any of the staff. Prost creditors are going to get almost nothing and this may cause some upset as the court turned down several offers which were worth tens of millions of dollars before placing the company in liquidation. This will not affect Tom Walkinshaw, of course, as any criticism will go to the court.
While the court may argue that circumstances have changed and that it raised as much money as it could raise (which is its job), the staff and the creditors have got almost nothing.
TWR is not expected to take on more than a handful of Prost people, leaving in the region of 180 Prost employees out of work. The intention appears to be to set up the new team in England.
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