Group Lotus shareholder Proton has denied it plans to sell a stake in the sports car manufacturer to Lotus Renault GP team owner Gerard Lopez.
Sources revealed last weekend that Lopez and his Genii Capital company were in talks about the possibility of taking a financial interest in Group Lotus. The deal was rumored to be poised to go as far as Lopez taking a majority shareholding in the car maker. On Thursday, however, Malaysia-based Proton said the reports were "untrue and highly speculative," adding that it had no plans to make a deal with Genii Capital.
"Proton hereby states that the alleged moves between Group Lotus and Genii Capital are untrue and that the reports are highly speculative in nature," Proton said in a statement. "Proton's relationship with Group Lotus is as good as it has ever been. Our priority now is to ensure that the Lotus Business Turnaround Plan is executed according to schedule and that both parties are committed to its success.
"Proton and Lotus have reached a juncture whereby the market is eagerly waiting for Lotus' new products and all our energy and efforts have to be channeled toward achieving this critical goal. Furthermore, the scope of Lotus' involvement in Formula 1 as title sponsor to Lotus Renault GP is to create dynamic marketing and branding synergies.
"Proton does not wish to further entertain any unsubstantiated news of speculative nature and we hope this statement will put all speculation to rest. However, we wish to add that, as a proactive business entity, the Proton group of companies will continue to initiate and consider viable business opportunities and arrangements which will benefit and add value to the group's interest."