Lotus parent company sold


Lotus's parent company, Proton, has been sold to industrial conglomerate DRB-Hicom, with the Malaysian government offloading its 43 per cent stake in the company for £268m.

That's a deal which values Proton at 24 times its estimated earnings for the next 12 months, against an average multiplier of 13 for Asian car manufacturers. It gives DRB two car plants with a combined capacity of 350,000, and has obvious potential benefits for a company that already assembles and distributes vehicles for Daimler and Volkswagen.

But what it means for Lotus is a rather different matter - Lotus hasn't made a profit since Proton acquired it in 1996, and DRB might simply see the British sports car manufacturer as a minus figure on the company's balance sheet. Especially since analysts have been advising Proton to offload Lotus for a little while now...

Hopefully DRB will see beyond Lotus's bald profit/loss accounts and allow Proton to keep feeding it the funds it needs for its ambitious product plans.

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  • johnpeat 16 Jan 2012

    Let's hope they sell Lotus but keep Skizz Featz for themselves eh? smile

  • Ozzie Osmond 16 Jan 2012

    Well. If only 43% has changed hands then the parent company HASN'T been sold. However, the question becomes "who owns the 57% majority?".

    If the buyer already owned more than 17% then the buyer can now claim to be the owner with more than 50% control.

    If someone else already owned more than 50% then that person was and remains in control, not the buyer of the 43%.

    If the 57% is owned by say 57 people with 1% each then for practical purposes the 43% shareholder probably has day to day control even though they can't force anything through a vote.

    More information needed....... OzOs

  • Scuffers 16 Jan 2012

    how long before Lotus Cars is sold/palmed off?

    Can't see the new owners being that keen to pump the ~£500M in to keep Dannyboy's dream going...

  • RTH 16 Jan 2012

    Scuffers said:
    how long before Lotus Cars is sold/palmed off?

    Can't see the new owners being that keen to pump the ~£500M in to keep Dannyboy's dream going...
    Odds on I should think, 43% is quite a big stake probably a multitude of smaller investors.

  • Marwood79 16 Jan 2012

    If I was Tata/JLR i'd be watching this very closely - could be a bargain on the way - particularly if you can keep Behr and his team whilst perhaps halving the current model range. Think of all that lovely Lotus engineering goop all over the CX-16...

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