LONDON (AFP) - Flamboyant Malaysian millionaire Tony Fernandes, contrary to press reports, is not looking to sell his Caterham Formula One team he announced in a statement on Tuesday.
Fernandes, who also owns budget airline AirAsia and the English football club Queens Park Rangers who made an immediate return to the Premier League after winning their play-off final last Saturday, added that the group is looking to attract outside investment.
Fernandes had felt compelled to issue the statement after it had been reported by Malaysia’s Edge financial daily on Sunday that he planned to offload the group’s assets, adding that an information memorandum for the sale was being circulated in the Middle East.
“Caterham Group is not for sale,” said 50-year-old Fernandes on Tuesday.
“We love what we build and we are always looking for further investment.
“This is no different to how we started AirAsia.
“Yes, we are constantly challenging ourselves and making decisions on everything from the structure to projects within the Group. That is normal business. That does not mean we are selling.”
Fernandes,ranked the 28th richest person in Malaysia by Forbes magazine, entered the sport with Caterham in 2010, but the racing team failed to win a single point in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Especially galling for them was that their fellow minnows Marussia took their first ever Formula One points at last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix through Jules Bianchi’s ninth place finish.
Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi complained that his rival cost him a points finish by damaging his car when he hit him as he passed him during the 78 lap race.