2019 Rich Energy Haas

I have seen some very nice pics of the possible livery for next year's Haas, with the logo of Rich Energy.

That looks like great news, a new sponsor, an exciting livery, all very exciting BUT that is not enough for starting a new thread...

What I find fascinating is Rich Energy: some of you might remember that some time ago there were talks of Rich Energy buying Force India, sadly that deal never happened. I had a chance to look up some info about Rich Energy and it's a very intriguing story.

Buying an F1 team or becoming the title sponsor of an F1 team requires a big investment, in order to make a big investment you need lot of cash and here the road gets a bit rocky for Rich Energy... Rich Energy's turnover? unknown! Yes, they never published their turnover, they published their accounts in 2017 and the turnover was unreported. However, I looked up Rich Energy in Endole (here) and it is listed as "Micro – Less than 10 employees or turnover under £2 million": yes, a company with 3 employees and a turnover of less than £2 million and £581 (and a share capital of £10,000) in the bank is going to be, or so they say, the title sponsor of Haas... In case you think that I'm making this up and that my source is inaccurate you can check Rich Energy's entry at Companies House here

now what is my problem in all this? my problem is that I see this company, this
Wholesale of fruit and vegetable juices, mineral water and soft drinks
(description taken from Companies House), associated with F1. There is clearly something wrong in all this story, because a company with an unknown turnover, 3 employees, a debt ratio of nearly 68% and £581 in the bank cannot sponsor an F1 team, they cannot even buy a few tickets for a go-kart race, let alone be involved with F1. So how can they get away with all this? In the past Sassetti's Andrea Mode was banned from F1 after an unpaid creditor impounded his cars, are we really to believe that Gene Haas didn't make a simple check on his new title sponsor?

I fear that this will end in tears, or, as with the purchase of Foce India by Rich Energy, this will never happen. but at least we will have something to talk about during the winter months, before testing and racing starts again
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
The whole situation is bizarre. The limited company has no assets of value so clearly the money is not coming from there. I'm not sure they have even sold any product yet beyond a couple of independent bars and restaurants. I was relieved they did not get an opportunity to meddle with Force India - team ownership would have been far more damaging to a team than losing a sponsor if they go belly up.

William Storey is the sole director of Rich Energy Racing Limited as well, setup i believe for the failed Force India deal (their first attempt, before FI went into administration this year) although this company is yet to file any accounts.

There is only one other director of Rich Energy Limited, who has limited voting rights. There were, however, 6 shareholders reported last year, with the company having been divided from 100 to 10,000 shares just recently. The division of the 10,000 has not been reported yet, but i assume this will be where the money will begin to appear if his 'backers' are real.

Sometimes i think the guy simply has an incredibly bold method of promoting his fledgling company and raising awareness and interest, but that doesn't get you a black and gold branded helicopter does it!?
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
If that is the case, the Dietrich Mateschitz model for brand promotion may not work out so well in full public view, but if he can make a go of it, good luck to him.

Give it a year or so and we'll find he bought the rights to an ancient recipe from a penniless man in Africa or something 10 years ago..........
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Premium Contributor
It could be a shell company, there just to pass money to get round taxes. Some years ago Brogan published a chart of all the companies owned by Ecclestone, it would be interesting to revisit it if it is out of copyright :D
 
the problem is that Bernie used to get deals done, Rich Energy so far has never achieved anything whatsoever. With all due respect to publicans and fitness instructors, Bernie would never use a shell company managed by a publican and a fitness instructor and besides why would he want to sponsor Haas? And as per the chart shown above in deals involving Bernie there was always a lot of money moving around, with Rich Energy so far there is only a lot of words.

Besides if Bernie really wanted to put some dodgy money (and I don't think that he's got much to launder, I think that in purely legal terms he's totally legit) back into circulation he wouldn't use a company registered in England and headquartered on a residential street in East Putney (you can check it out by yourselves, the registered address is 5 Manfred Road, London, England, SW15 2RS).
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Premium Contributor
With the financial turnover that occurs in F1 I would have thought that a rather poor salary.
 
one of my favourite subjects in F1 is under the spotlight once again... the sponsorship deal between Rich Energy and Haas... at first Rich Energy claimed that they had terminated their sponsorship deal with Haas then Rich Energy's mighty shareholders say that it's not true... hand on a second, what is Haas saying about this? they say that the deal is still on...

what an amazing story, my favourite bit is in the first article that I linked, where it reads
Rich CEO William Storey is also required to provide details of the company's drinks production and financial performance, including its relationship with Haas, by August 1
how intersting is that? Rich Energy has never published any meaningful financials, no one knows how many cans they sell (I have never actually seen their products on the shelves of a supermarket, maybe I'm just unlucky and West Ealing's Waitrose is being difficult with them), their shaholders are a slightly odd bunch of people with no track record of running a business, they have just lost a court case and now, a few days before they have to disclose their numbers (relevant for deciding the compensation that they owe to Whyte Bikes for copyright infringement) they unilaterally terminate their contract with Haas because of poor performance (something tells me that there is no such provision in their contract with Haas, or at least not under such terms), how convenient is that? if I was being naughty I could say that is looks just like a very poor way of trying to limit your liabilities before filing for bankruptcy ROFL

this story is going to be be very interesting, I really look forward to know how much money Rich Energy actually paid to Haas, I wouldn't be suprised if the answer was 0 (from the first article linked
Asked in Mexico if Haas had done its due diligence on Rich given the short timeframe, Steiner said: "Your due diligence you don't do with the person there, there's some other ways to do that. "We did what we need to do. We needed to do it before we met him. Why do you doubt that? Obviously we did what we needed to do, and our legal advisors were content with that."
)
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
Here we go then Publius...

I'm just quoting Motorsport.com

Motorsport.com said:
Clearly the rogue actions of one individual have caused great embarrassment. We are in the process of legally removing the individual from all executive responsibilities. They may speak for themselves but their views are not those of the company."

The statement also described the previous tweet as "regrettable" and having come from "an unauthorised source".

"We wish to confirm our commitment to the Haas F1 Team, Formula 1 and to thank the Haas F1 Team for their support and patience whilst this matter is dealt with internally," the statement concluded.

The "individual" behind the "rogue actions" in question was not directly named in the statement.
Mr Storey gone or do they have mole in their endless employee list?
 
this is very embarrassing for both team and Rich
I think that it's especially embarassing for Haas, they clearly didn't do their homework (not, I'm not referring to last race's poor result, but to the lack of any meaningful due diligence on Rich Energy, which, if I'm not mistaken, is still operating from some remote garage in a back street in south London)
 
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