Fernandes asking up to $60m to end dispute - Proton

By on Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feb.17 (GMM) Group Lotus owner Proton remains open to settling the Lotus naming dispute out of court, but rules out caving in to Tony Fernandes' current financial demands.

Fernandes, the team boss and co-owner of the 1Malaysia company that calls itself 'Team Lotus' in F1, revealed recently that he had been offered less than US$10 million to settle the affair out of court.

Group Lotus has entered F1 as the title sponsor of the Renault team, raising the prospect of two Lotus teams this season and a messy court battle.

Proton revealed in a statement on Thursday that Fernandes is demanding between 22 million (US$35m) and 37 million ($60m) pounds to settle.

The statement said 1Malaysia not only wants the fee to include the sale of the Team Lotus name, but other factors including the development of a new brand, and loss of income from merchandise and sponsorship.

Proton confirmed that it is willing to pay only for the name.

"For all intent and purposes, 1MRT cannot now demand for us to compensate them for a problem which they got themselves into," read the statement issued by the Malaysian carmaker.

It said that if "reasonable and justified proposals" are made, an out of court settlement is still possible.

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