Just days after it was reported that administrators had failed to find a white knight to acquire the remains of the Lola brand, a lifeline – for the name at least - appears to have emerged in the USA.
The race car constructor went into administration in late May, but continued to trade while CCW Recovery Solutions attempted to find a buyer for both its car and composites arms. While a deal for the latter is still being discussed - with two interested parties at the table, Lola Cars International was thought to have closed its doors for good, with all assets to have been sold at some point in the near future.
However, according to Speed.com
, Lola Group Holdings, owner of the Lola brand and intellectual property not affected by the company's collapse, is understood to have reached an agreement with Multimatic Engineering and Haas Auto that would allow the US concerns to use the Lola name and design ideas. The report also suggests that the assets of Lola Cars – including parts and tooling - have also been acquired by the two companies, which would allow them to continue production and supply existing customers running various Lola models.
"Further to the press release issued by the joint administrators of Lola Cars International Limited (in administration) and Lola Composites Limited (in administration) on Tuesday 9th October, which related solely to the trading of the two subsidiaries, Lola Group Holdings wish to put the record straight by making the following statement,” Speed.com
quoted an explanation issued via Sniffer Media.
"Lola Group Holdings Limited is the owner of the Lola brand and all Lola intellectual property. Lola Group Holdings has reached agreement with the joint administrators, through participation in a sealed bid tender, to purchase the remaining Lola Cars International stock and inventory which includes current LMP stock and tooling to enable the continued manufacture of parts to service Lola customers.
"Lola Group Holdings is also able to announce that it is in advanced negotiations with parties to form a partnership to service Lola customers in the future. Lola Group Holdings is making available a license for the intellectual property and existing inventory.
"The Lola facilities in Huntingdon, which includes the 65,000sq ft of offices and factory plus the 15,000sq ft wind tunnel and technical facility with F1 capability, is owned and controlled by other group companies and are available for sale or [lease].
"The factory includes a fully equipped composites manufacturing capability with autoclaves, 5 axis machining and all the other equipment necessary to undertake composites manufacture for top level motorsport. The technical centre remains fully operational and is undertaking consultancy work and wind tunnel testing for automotive and motorsport customers."
Toronto-based Multimatic has already hired a number of former Lola employees, including chief designer Julien Sole.