The investment firm that owns the Lotus F1 team and tried to buy Saab has now taken an undisclosed stake in one of the most comprehensive Porsche modifiers in the business.
Genii Capital has been steadily increasing its investment in the automotive industry. It purchased the majority of what is now the Lotus F1 team in 2009. The following year it submitted a bid, together with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, to buy Saab from GM, but the offer was later rebuffed. Now it has announced that it has bought a portion of RUF Automobile. For those unfamiliar, RUF is a Porsche tuner, of sorts, except that its products often stretch far beyond modification to stand as unique products in their own right.
RUF has been around for decades, producing along the way cars like the CTR "Yellowbird" that hit a record 214 mph in 1987, the CTR3 supercar in 2008 and the V8-powered 911 R-GT8 in 2010. The statement, issued by the Lotus F1 team, did not disclose exactly what percentage of RUF was purchased by Genii, but industry sources believe it to be a majority stake, if not the whole kit and caboodle. What it did confirm is that Gerard Lopez, who currently serves as chairman of both Genii Capital and the Lotus F1 team, will take up a new role as non-executive chairman of RUF, a similar capacity (in name at least) to David Richards' job at Aston Martin.