Renault buys Lotus for a token

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According to company accounts, Renault paid just £1 to take over Lotus and return as works team to Formula 1.

The French manufacturer purchased a 90 percent stake in the team, while previous owner Genii Capital, along with its subsidiary Gravity Motorsports, retain a 10 percent interest.

The sophisticated deal saw Genii forced to write off an estimated £98.2 million in shareholder loans in order to allow Renault to start from a clean financial slate.

The write-off is also most probably why the Luxembourg based holding has retrained a minority interest , in order to one day recover part of its sustained losses.

Renault acquired Lotus through its wholly-owned Grigny Ltd UK affiliate, the company that previously owned the team which raced under the Benetton banner.

Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn has given the French manufacturer three years to fight its way up to the head of the grid.

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul is confident that the newly formed works outfit, which will field Jolyon Palmer and Pastor Maldonado in 2016, has all the right ingredients to succeed.

"What should not wait is the capacity of Renault to turn what we do on the track into tangible marketing value for the group and for the brand," Abiteboul said.

"That is really important, as that is what will give us the stability so that we have the capacity – the financial capacity and also the time – to become one of the big boys."

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