This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this by adding secondary or tertiary sources. (February 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Rich Energy Ltd.
TypePrivate limited company
IndustryEnergy drink
Founded2015; 7 years ago (2015)
FounderWilliam Storey
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
William John Storey (Ex-director, founder)
Zoran Terzic (director)
ProductsRich Energy
Websiterichenergy.com

Rich Energy Ltd. is a British beverage company that manufactures the Rich Energy energy drink. The company was founded in 2015 by William Storey and an anonymous Austrian scientist. The energy drink project began in 2009 with the development of the product, and the company was founded six years later.[1] Information about Rich Energy Ltd. and its energy drink is very limited. Due to this, the company has been the subject of controversy regarding the existence of its product.[2]

On 16 July 2019, Rich Energy announced that they have renamed their company "Lightning Volt Ltd.",[3] and on 19 July 2019 a new company was incorporated under the name "Rich Energy Limited".[4] Information filed at Companies House also revealed that William Storey and Serbian colleague Zoran Terzic had apparently resigned as directors from the newly renamed Lightning Volt Ltd., before being reappointed on 29 August 2019.[5] Storey stated that he had "sold his stake in the legal entity of Rich Energy".[6] Matthew Kell was appointed as a new director of the company after Storey's apparent exit.[7][8] In August 2019, Storey bought back shares from Kell to retake a majority shareholding in the company.[9] Lightning Volt Limited was declared insolvent on 27 October 2020, following a petition by a creditor, and a liquidator was appointed on 13 January 2021.

Flavours

Sponsorship

In October 2018, Rich Energy became title sponsor of the Formula One Haas Team.[10][11] During a tumultuous 2019 campaign for the American team, Rich Energy left the team in September of that year. Originally, the company intended to get a sponsorship deal with Williams. However it is unclear whether the team rejected their offer[12][13] or Rich Energy simply changed their mind.[14] Rich Energy also attempted to purchase for £100 million the Sahara Force India team which had been put into administration by the High Court at the time. Storey claimed the deal had been finalised, however this was denied by the Indian racing team.[15][16][17]

In February 2020, Rich Energy was announced as the new title sponsor of British Superbike Championship race entrant OMG Racing.[18]

In July 2020, Rich Energy was announced as a sponsor of BTCC driver Michael Crees, who drives for BTC Racing.[19]

In 2021, Rich Energy branding could be seen on the BTCC Vauxhall Astras of Jason Plato and Daniel Lloyd.

Controversies

Brand legitimacy

Controversies regarding Rich Energy's credibility began to spread in the days following Rich Energy's attempt to purchase the Sahara Force India racing team. Internet forums and social media posts questioned the legitimacy of the company.[20] The company's financial documentation became exposed through Companies House.[20][21] Former CEO William Storey had denied the claims multiple times, stating that Rich Energy had produced 90 million drink cans, and that it was backed by £4 billion worth of endorsements[22] despite there being no financial information corroborating this claim.

Copyright infringement

In May 2019, Rich Energy Ltd. was involved in a court case with Whyte Bikes due to the stag-antler-logo being used by Rich Energy bearing too close a resemblance to the logo used by the bicycle company. Rich Energy lost the case, with the judge declaring that Rich Energy had misled the court by claiming they did not previously know about Whyte Bikes.[23][24]

On 18 July 2019, the Rich Energy Twitter account leaked alleged court documents, suggesting that the company, as well as former CEO William Storey, would be facing legal proceedings by Austrian energy drink company Red Bull GmbH in relation to Rich Energy's advertising slogan because Storey was regularly using Red Bull's own advertising slogans against them.[25]

Sponsorship with Haas F1

Kevin Magnussen driving the Rich Energy-sponsored VF-19 at the Canadian Grand Prix
Kevin Magnussen driving the Rich Energy-sponsored VF-19 at the Canadian Grand Prix

On 10 July 2019, the Rich Energy Twitter account announced that the company had ended its sponsorship of Formula One constructor Haas F1 Team, saying that Rich Energy had terminated their title sponsorship deal due to the team's poor performance and Formula One Group's politics and attitude.[26] The announcement from the energy drink brand came as "a surprise" to Guenther Steiner, Haas's team principal.[27] The following day, the company's shareholders attempted to disown the announcement, stating that the apparent termination of the sponsorship deal was "the rogue actions of one individual". The company also stated that it was "in the process of removing the individual from all executive responsibilities".[28][29] Former CEO William Storey later accused his company's shareholders of "mounting a coup" in relation to the Haas F1 team sponsorship.[30]

On 9 September 2019, a day after the Italian Grand Prix, Haas F1 announced the termination of the deal with Rich Energy with immediate effect.[31]

References

  1. ^ Gerrard, Bradley (30 March 2018). "Rich Energy chief: 'I fell into the drinks business after meeting a mad scientist'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  2. ^ "What You Find When You Look Into Rich Energy, the Mystery Sponsor of America's F1 Team". Jalopnik. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  3. ^ "LIGHTNING VOLT LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  4. ^ "RICH ENERGY LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK".
  5. ^ "LIGHTNING VOLT LIMITED - Overview (Free company information from Companies House)".
  6. ^ Collantine, Keith (16 July 2019). "Haas sponsor Rich Energy rebrands as Lightning Volt as CEO quits". RaceFans. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  7. ^ George, Patrick. "Embattled F1 Sponsor Rich Energy Is Now 'Lightning Volt Limited', CEO William Storey Is Out". Jalopnik. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Rich Energy becomes... Lightning Volt". Pitpass.com. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Formula 1 - William Storey resumes control of Rich Energy". FormulaSpy. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  10. ^ 26 October; 2018. "Haas F1 Signs Rich Energy As Title Sponsor". www.sportsbusinessdaily.com. Retrieved 23 June 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Gilboy, James (27 October 2018). "Haas F1 Signs Soft Drink Startup Rich Energy as 2019 Title Sponsor". The Drive. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  12. ^ Eagles, James (7 February 2019). "Rich Energy CEO Hits Out At Claims That His Company Isn't Legitimate". WTF1. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  13. ^ M, Jadran; ekic (9 February 2019). "Rich Energy boss talks Williams deal". Williams Grand Prix News. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  14. ^ Nate Saunders (3 March 2020). "The bizarre Haas-Rich Energy saga explained". ESPN. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Rich Energy launch official £100m takeover of Force India". www.linkedin.com. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  16. ^ Perez, Jerry (23 February 2018). "Sahara Force India Denies Possibility of Being Sold to New Investors". The Drive. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Exclusive Image: Richmond-based company finalising purchase of Formula One team Force India". Richmond and Twickenham Times. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  18. ^ Duncan, Lewis. "Ex-Haas Formula 1 sponsor Rich Energy to back road racing squad OMG". Autosport.com. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  19. ^ "BTC Racing FAN-FAVOURITE BRITISH TOURING CAR STAR MICHAEL CREES LINKS UP WITH RICH ENERGY - BTC Racing Ltd". btcracing.co.uk. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020.
  20. ^ a b King, Alanis. "What You Find When You Look Into Rich Energy, the Mystery Sponsor of America's F1 Team". Jalopnik. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  21. ^ "RICH ENERGY LIMITED - Filing history (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Haas title sponsor likens doubters to moon landing truthers". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  23. ^ Cooper, Adam. "Haas F1 team title sponsor Rich Energy loses legal case over stag logo". Autosport.com. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Whyte Bikes Win Legal Battle Against Haas F1 Team's Title Sponsor, Rich Energy". Pinkbike. 14 May 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  25. ^ GPfans.com. "Red Bull suing ex-Rich Energy chief, according to leak". GPfans. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  26. ^ Cooper, Adam. "Rich Energy says Haas F1 deal terminated, citing "poor performance"". Autosport.com. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  27. ^ Collantine, Keith (11 July 2019). ""Surprised" Haas will run Rich Energy logos at Silverstone". RaceFans. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  28. ^ "Rich Energy: Rogue actions of one individual | GRAND PRIX 247". 11 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  29. ^ "Rich Energy shareholders blame "rogue individual" for Haas tweet". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  30. ^ "Rich Energy CEO accuses shareholders of mounting "coup"". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  31. ^ "Haas F1 Team Statement on Rich Energy". Haas F1 Team. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.