Lotus denies administration plans

Lotus Exige on display at 2012 Geneva motor show Lotus received £10.4m of government funding in October last year

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The sports car maker Lotus has moved to quash rumours that its owners are considering putting it in administration.

Lotus was bought in 1996 by Proton, which in turn was acquired by Malaysia's DRB-Hicom earlier this year.

Reports suggested DRB-Hicom had been considering administration as a way of freeing itself from Lotus's debts.

But Norfolk-based Lotus said "at no point" had DRB-Hicom indicated that this was the case.

A spokesperson for Group Lotus said: "The new Proton owners DRB-Hicom are currently in the middle of their due diligence of Group Lotus.

"There have been and continue to be positive discussions between Group Lotus senior management and senior management at DRB-Hicom both here in Hethel and in Malaysia.

"Despite various rumours in the media to the contrary, at no point has DRB-Hicom indicated to Group Lotus that they intend to put the company into administration and we welcome the opportunity to put that rumour along with incorrect speculation that production has stopped, that Dany Bahar is no longer CEO and that we are no longer involved in F1 to bed."

Earlier in April, the Lotus F1 team formally ended its title sponsorship with the Lotus Group amid uncertainty about the group's future, but said it would continue to use the Lotus name.

The spokesperson added: "It's no secret that we are going through a very difficult time at the moment due to the change in ownership but we're doing everything we can to get through this period and come out the other side stronger than before."

In October 2011, Lotus received £10.4m of government funding and announced plans to create 1,000 jobs as part of a five to six-year expansion plan.

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