The legal team for Full Throttle Production's Tavo Hellmund responded this morning to the Cycle News story yesterday that featured a press release from Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in regard to Red McCombs "setting the record straight" about claims that he might sell a portion of his ownership interest in COTA to Hellmund.
"Yesterday, Red McCombs refused to honor the buy-sell provisions set forth in the company agreement," said Eric Wetzel, a spokesman for Hellmund's legal team. "Full Throttle Productions therefore intends to enforce the buy-sell offer and acquire Mr. McCombs's interest. Earlier this week, Bobby Epstein confirmed in a letter to Full Throttle that he too is interested in acquiring a portion of Mr. McCombs's interest. Whether or not Mr. Epstein follows through with his plan, Full Throttle will ultimately own at least one-third of Accelerator Holdings. According to information provided by Mr. McCombs's legal counsel, this stake would in turn translate into a significant ownership interest by Full Throttle in Circuit of the Americas (COTA). This interest in COTA may actually be larger than expected, an issue that will be made clear only after the court orders Mr. Epstein and Mr. McCombs to turn over the company books, which they have refused to do voluntarily."
The following is the statement that ran in our story yesterday.
"To be clear, as Red McCombs has stated, he has no intention of selling his ownership interests in Circuit of The Americas," said Julie Loignon, vice president of public and community relations, in the release. "One of the partnerships Mr. McCombs has invested in is Accelerator Holdings LLC, which holds a minority interest in the Circuit of The Americas. Even if Mr. Hellmund was to acquire his pro-rata portion of Mr. McCombs' shares of Accelerator Holdings, that portion would represent an approximate two percent interest in Circuit of the Americas. As such, Mr. Hellmund could not influence the seven-member board structure or management of Accelerator Holdings, let alone the board, management team or operations of Circuit of The Americas.
"The Circuit's ownership seeks to resolve Mr. Hellmund's dispute through arbitration, which was outlined and agreed to in writing by Mr. Hellmund," Loignon continued. "We remain committed to seeing that process through to resolution. In the interim, we continue to make great progress on the construction and look forward to hosting the return of Formula 1 racing to the United States this fall with the inaugural Formula 1 United States Grand Prix November 16-18 in our home city of Austin, Texas."