KUALA LUMPUR (April 7): Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun has sold UK-based Caterham Cars Ltd to Japan-headquartered automotive group VT Holdings as performance-car manufacturer Caterham looks ahead to write the next chapter of its corporate journey.
In a statement yesterday, Caterham said VT Holdings had last Wednesday (March 31, 2021) acquired Caterham from “businessmen" Fernandes and Kamarudin.
Fernandes is AirAsia Group Bhd executive director and chief executive officer while Kamarudin is the budget airline’s executive chairman.
In Caterham’s statement, the company had however not disclosed the value of the transaction and specified why Fernandes and Kamarudin sold Caterham to VT Holdings.
Graham Macdonald, chief executive of Caterham said in the statement : "As a team, we’re all excited about starting to write the next chapter for this very special brand.”
VT Holdings chief executive Kazuho Takahashi said in the statement : "We have not only purchased a globally renowned performance car manufacturer but become custodians of a motoring legend.”
According to Caterham, the change in the company’s ownership marks an exciting moment in Caterham’s history as VT Holdings, which has assumed custodianship of the British brand, already has close connections to Caterham.
VT Holdings has since 2009 operated as the official Japanese importer for Caterham’s Seven car model, Caterham said.
"As one of Japan’s largest retailer groups - with over 200 showrooms nationwide and investments in UK, Spain, Thailand and South Africa - VT Holdings is also the importer for a collection of two and four-wheeled British brands, including Royal Enfield and Lotus in its home market.
"Motorsport, and the global track-day communities, have always played a central role in Caterham’s commercial success and has shaped the development of our road-orientated vehicles.
"The brand now joins a group led by Takahashi, who shares the same passions, having raced competitively in JGTC, Super GT and Super Taikyu championships for the past 20 years,” Caterham said.
JGTC stands for the Japan Grand Touring Championship while Super GT refers to the Super Grand Touring car racing series.
At the time of writing, Fernandes and Kamarudin had not issued a statement in response to Caterham’s statement on the change in Caterham’s ownership.