Fernandes Demands $60 Million to End Lotus Name Dispute - Proton
In recent weeks, it had been revealed by Fernandes that Proton and Group Lotus had offered him $10 million to settle the dispute and give up the name of “Lotus” for the 2011 F1 campaign and onwards. Obviously, the offer was rejected and the two companies went to court, offering the prospect of a 2011 F1 season with two Lotus teams on the grid.
While an official and definitive ruling is still expected from London's High Court – due to announce it on March 21 – Proton has now revealed that Fernandes came back to the negotiation table with an offer of his own. If we are to trust the Malaysian company, the AirAsia boss is demanding between 22 million (US$35m) and 37 million ($60m) pounds to settle.
Additionally, it seems that 1Malaysia – the official designation of the team before taking up the “Team Lotus” name – not only wants the fee to include the sale of the aforementioned name, but other factors including the development of a new brand, and loss of income from merchandise and sponsorship.
“For all intent and purposes, 1MRT (Malaysia Racing Team) cannot now demand for us to compensate them for a problem which they got themselves into,” responded Proton, who made it very clear that they are simply looking for a settlement in regards to the “Team Lotus” name and nothing more.
The statement did not say what Proton's take on the offer is – although we might have a clue on that – but continued by saying a settlement outside the court is still possible as long as the offers forwarded to them are “reasonable and justified.”