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F1 NEWS 

Gerard Lopez not looking at selling Lotus F1 team

Gerard LopezLotus owner Gerard Lopez insists he is not looking at selling the outfit, despite having held talks with potential investors last year.

Lopez's Genii Capital company considered offloading a minority stake in the team towards the end of 2012 after speaking to various parties, but in the end it elected to keep its ownership of the team intact.

Following the success of 2012, with Lotus winning a race on its way to fourth place in the constructors' championship, Lopez has reiterated how happy he is with the way the team is working.

"When we bought the team we had 75 per cent of the shares, and then we moved to 100 cent," said Lopez in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

"But we have always said that, if there are investors who want to enter with some shares, we are ready.

"I have never wanted to sell the team because for me, for Genii Capital, F1 is a fine platform to develop business. With the sponsors we talk not only of the advertising that goes on the car, but wider business too."

Lotus has boosted its sponsorship portfolio in recent years, and has added for 2013 a high-profile deal with the Coca-Cola company to promote its 'Burn' energy drink brand.

The team has also been in negotiations with American industrial company Honeywell about a sponsorship tie-up.

Lopez said that Lotus' finances were in good shape, even though it did not have the budget to match outfits like Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.

"We are close to the top teams," he said. "We are financed by Microsoft, Unilever, and Coca Cola. This demonstrates the value we are recognised [as having]. At the moment we have 547 staff. It's fine."

Translation by Michele Lostia

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