Rich Energy Haas crisis: Complete story (updated)

On Thursday before the Silverstone GP, the confusing situation at Haas sponsor Rich Energy was the dominant topic in the paddock. Now the situation is getting even crazier.

Some time ago, TJ13 surmised that the tweet that started it all off could well have been an account hacked or a bizarre PR stunt ahead of the British GP, the home race of sorts of Rich Energy. Yet it came to light that actually a very real split of senior partners of the fledgling energy drinks company has appeared, with one party claiming that a “rogue” employee had declared the termination of sponsorship with the Haas F1 team, and that the decision was not valid or true.

William Storey

TJ13 has decided to summerise below the events thus far in chronological order to provide our readers with the full story as we know it. Credit to Reddit user u/MattTheMilkaCow for his efforts here.

 

A summary of events related to Rich Energy since Wednesday 10th July

10 Jul 2019 Rich Energy Twitter announces the termination of sponsorship with Haas:

 

‘Rich Energy failed to meet payment obligations’

The Dutch news outlet rtlnieuws.nl claimed that they believed the most likely reason for the split was that Rich Energy had defaulted on payments for their sponsorship deal with the F1 team:

“Sources to RTL GP confirm that the partnership between Haas and Rich Energy has almost certainly ended. However, the fact that the British group would not be able to meet the payment obligations would be the real reason behind the end of the cooperation.”

 

Gunther Steiner (Haas F1 Team) responds to Rich Energy departure news

Team boss Gunther Steiner releases a statement via the Haas F1 team’s twitter account claiming that the team is currently still sponsored by Rich Energy.

 

Rich Energy investors trying to save Haas F1 deal

Rich Energy states that it is trying to save their sponsorship deal with Haas, noting that William Storey, their founder and (former?) CEO, wrote or authorised the tweet following a “difference of opinion” with other investors, and that he has no authority to terminate the sponsorship deal.

“The deal is not terminated and William has no authority to do so. The investors are trying to clear up the PR mess, but it’s business as usual.” claim Rich Energy investors.

 

Rich Energy drink chief labels F1 team Haas ‘milk float at back of grid’ after pulling plug on sponsorship

The British tabloid The Sun spoke to William Storey, who said that Haas were “a milk float on the back of the grid”. Danish media reports that William Storey had been fired from Rich Energy by investors, hijacking their Twitter account and posting the rogue tweet afterward.

“Haas [are] nice people but the car is going backwards.

“We are a superior product to Red Bull.

“A milkfloat at back of grid a disaster for us. End of.” said Storey to the Sun.

 

Whyte Bikes have not been paid the £35k by Rich Energy ordered by the courts

Reports surface that Whyte Bikes have apparently not yet received the £35k owed to them by Rich Energy, as ordered by court, and that they are looking to begin the process of winding up the Rich Energy company if the payment is not recieved by the end of today.

 

Rich Energy confirms commitment to Haas and condemns “rogue actions of one individual”

According to Racefans.net – Rich Energy confirm their belief in the Haas F1 Team and that they are in the process of legally removing the individual concerned (presumably William Storey) from all executive responsibilities, adding that “They may speak for themselves but their views are not those of the company”.

 

 

Rich Energy files trademark for new logo

It transpires that Rich Energy filed a trademark for a new logo on July 2nd. The new design still has gold, angular antlers.

The company filed for the name “Rich Energy”, and its new logotype, which still feature some horns, and still look convincingly plagiarised…

https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmcase/page/Results/1/UK00003410921 https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmcase/page/Results/1/UK00003411114

 

Rich Energy CEO (William Storey) accuses shareholders of mounting “coup”

William Storey uses the Rich Energy Twitter account to claim that “the attempted palace coup by minority stakeholders” has failed and that he has control all of the assets of Rich Energy and the support of “all key stakeholders”.

 

The new Rich Energy CEO will be at Silverstone

Word in the paddock is that the new Rich Energy CEO is to be present at Silverstone this weekend and to be formally announced “soon”.

 

 

Rich Energy, Haas, and “the real situation”

Rich Energy Twitter account posts a letter, which had been sent on behalf of Haas to the shareholders who claim to have control of Rich Energy. The letter states that Haas are happy to keep talking to Rich provided that sufficient evidence is provided that Storey has been completely removed from his position and validly replaced, and that outstanding damages are paid. The writers of the letter are presently at a loss as to how the shareholders took control of the company away from Storey.

 

Whyte Bikes has not been paid the money owed to them by Rich Energy

It is reported that Rich Energy have not paid Whyte Bikes the aforementioned £35k and Whyte Bikes have indicated that they will take “appropriate action”.

 

Rich Energy distribution rights have been transferred to another company

William Storey uses the Rich Energy Twitter account to claim that he is still CEO of Rich Energy, that the exclusive rights to distribute Rich Energy have been transferred to another company and that he retains full ownership. It could be speculated that Storey has done this in an attempt to be able to continue distributing Rich Energy after Whyte Bikes’ lawyers wind up the original company.

 

Storey continues to stir shit

William Storey continues to stir shit using the Rich Energy Twitter account, largely mocking Haas and promoting the Rich Energy brand (with the illegal logo) and not contributing any new knowledge, until this… in which he implicates himself with attempting unlawful termination of the sponsorship contract (which would result in Storey having to pay £35 million in damages if the minority shareholders have been unable to oust Storey) and wrongfully accusing Haas of wrongly removing the stag element of the Rich Energy logo.

 

William Storey facing court again

Rich Energy’s lawyers indicate that they no longer wish to represent William Storey, as reports surface that Storey is set for another visit to court – this time because Vin-X, a wine investment company, claims that Storey offered them 20% of Rich Energy’s shares in return for advice and expertise within the drinks industry and that Storey has failed to give them not only the shares but also repayment of a £20k loan.

 

Rich Energy Limited has been renamed to Lightning Volt Limited

Companies House reveals that Rich Energy Ltd no longer employs Mr Storey, and that it has been renamed to Lightning Volt Ltd. William Storey responds by stating that he has sold the majority shares of the company and claims that he “will be back”.

 

Minority shareholders are not the new owners of the company

Turns out that the minority shareholders are not the new owners of the company, but instead it seems that Storey sold out to the BDG Group; unlicensed insolvency practitioners who are specialists in avoiding insolvency proceedings, claims or prosecution for insolvency offences.

 

 

 

2 responses to “Rich Energy Haas crisis: Complete story (updated)

  1. Pingback: Rich Energy admits defeat - thejudge13·

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