Parent company of Norfolk-based Group Lotus is sold by Malaysian owners

The parent company of Norfolk-based car firm Group Lotus has been sold in a �267m deal - raising questions about the future of the Hethel-based operation.

Malaysia's state owned investment firm Khazanah Nasional, sold its 42.7pc stake in Proton Holdings to car distributor and importer DRB-Hicom.

Reports suggest the deal should be completed by the second quarter of the year.

But what is not clear is what the news will mean for Group Lotus and its ambitious �200m plans to create hundreds of new jobs by transforming the company from a specialist niche car company into a profitable sports car brand, which were to be funded by Proton.

Group Lotus last year secured �10m of funding from the government's regional growth fund to help with the expansion, and all eyes will now turn to whether ministers will release the cash following the Proton sell-off.

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