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Force India co-owner ordered to refund investors

Force India co-owner Sahara is at the centre of a financial storm in its homeland, adding to concerns raised in a recent report into F1 finances.

With team founder Vijay Mallya under pressure to sell off Kingfisher Airlines and rumours that none of its drivers had been paid a salary in 2012, Force India could do without further financial worries, but they keep on coming.

A recent report into F1 finances [see separate story] included the Silverstone-based team among those facing money problems - although Nico Hulkenberg has since attempted to play down the suggestions that neither he or team-mate Paul di Resta have been paid to race - and will no doubt be concerned by stories emanating from India suggesting that new co-owner Sahara is facing a court order to repay more than $3bn raised from small investors.

According to Reuters, India's top court has instructed the company, which also backs India's national cricket and hockey teams, to pay back the sum as its fundraising practices involving two smaller companies which raised $3.18bn over four years did not comply with securities regulations. The Securities and Exchange Board of India has already ordered the refund - complete with 15 per cent interest - but an appeal, based on Sahara's claim that it had been a private placement, sent the matter to the courts, who upheld the original decision and instructed the company to repay the full amount within three months.

Sahara, founded by Subrata Roy Sahara, bought into the Force India team during the 2011 F1 season, after Mallya ran into trouble with a couple of his own companies, including Kingfisher Airlines, which he has come under pressure to sell off.

Meanwhile, Hulkenberg's manager, Timo Gans, has shrugged off the claims that his client had not been paid for his services this season.

"These are rumours," he told Germany's Sport1, "I really wonder where this information comes from — maybe people know more than we do."

Hulkenberg and di Resta are both being touted as potential replacements for Felipe Massa at Ferrari next season.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.08.2012- Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
29.07.2012- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
28.07.2012- Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
20.07.2012 - Free Practice 2, Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
(L to R): Carlos Slim Domit (MEX) Businessman; Miguel Angel Mancera (MEX) Mayor of Mexico City; Francisco Maass Pena (MEX) Deputy Minister for Tourism; Alejandro Soberon (MEX) Corporacion Interamericana CEO.
21.01.2015.
Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 signs autographs for the fans.
21.01.2015.
Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 signs autographs for the fans.
21.01.2015.
(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1.
21.01.2015.
Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1.
21.01.2015.
(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1.
21.01.2015.
(L to R): Carlos Slim Domit (MEX) Chairman of America Movil with Francisco Maass Pena (MEX) Deputy Minister for Tourism; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Miguel Angel Mancera (MEX) Mayor of Mexico City; Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Alejandro Soberon (MEX) Corporacion Interamericana CEO.
21.01.2015.  Force India F1 Team Livery Reveal, Soumaya Museum, Mexico City, Mexico.
(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 with Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1.
21.01.2015.
(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner.
21.01.2015.
(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 reveal the 2015 Sahara Force India F1 Team livery.
21.01.2015.
Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner.
21.01.2015.
(L to R): Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner with Carlos Slim Domit (MEX) Chairman of America Movil.
21.01.2015.
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1.,
21.01.2015.
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 with fans.
21.01.2015.

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