Many of you will have received a joint press statement last week announcing that HERO will take over the ERA events and that whilst there had been an exchange of contracts, completion was imminent. First and foremost, allow us to express our gratitude for the numerous messages of support, words of encouragement and good wishes.
London, 08th August 2018
Dear ERA supporter,
Ref: Joint ERA and HERO statement dated 01st August 2018
Many of you will have received a joint press statement last week announcing that HERO will take over the ERA events and that whilst there had been an exchange of contracts, completion was imminent. First and foremost, allow us to express our gratitude for the numerous messages of support, words of encouragement and good wishes. Inevitably, we have also received messages requesting clarifications on the transactions and reassurances regarding the involvement of the numerous people that make the ERA events so unique, as well as a call for more information on HERO’s intentions regarding the ERA events going forward. Whilst the closing of the transaction remains imminent, we write to address these concerns.
By way of background, Tomas and I are the Chairman and Managing Director of HERO respectively. First and foremost, though, we are passionate about classic rallying and circa 10 years ago we decided to get involved in this sector of motorsport in order to support it, re- invigorate it and ensure a much needed generational change and continuity in the industry. We are not in any way innovators wishing to change things, but rather we are and will always be custodians. In 2009, we took over HERO from the brink of bankruptcy, followed by the acquisition of the Classic Rally Association (CRA) in 2013. We made a promise then, that we would deliver a platform fit for purpose and solid enough to last and benefit the rally community for many years to come and we like to think we delivered on that promise. With the acquisition of the ERA events, this promise to continue to build on and maintain the legacy of great innovators, such as Philip Young, is renewed to all people who share our common passion. Our aim is to make sure that one of the pinnacle platforms in endurance rallying will continue to thrive, grow and retain the diversity of their events as much as all the talented people behind those events.
Both operating and management teams are, and have already been, working very closely to ensure a smooth transition of the events to HERO, but we wish to make one message very clear: under HERO, nothing will change at the ERA – it will remain and continue to be “business as usual”.
This means that:
Inevitably the events will no longer be operated by the three companies operated by the ERA (Endurance Rally Association Ltd, Peking-Paris Rally Limited and Alpine Rally Limited) but under HERO. We have in fact agreed to take over the assets and liabilities of those three separate companies which also entails the assignment of the entry fees for each relevant ERA event on exactly the same terms and conditions. Accordingly, we will operate and respect the current rules of engagement and have no intention of changing these. HERO will hold all entry fees paid on the same terms as they have been paid to the relevant ERA companies. Furthermore, at HERO we operate a system of segregated accounts for each division of the platform and we confirm that separate accounts are in place to segregate the ERA entry fees from all other HERO event fees and other HERO funds.
We confirm that we have no intention of bringing any change to the ERA staff and on- event support staff, officials, marshals, photographers etc. Many of the on-event officials and support staff we share on the HERO events and we confirm their continued involvement on all ERA events already planned and those going forward. The ERA informs us that Fred Gallagher is no longer the Events Director and we wish him luck going forward
We confirm that we have no intention of changing the nature, difficulty, feel, appeal and overall nature of any of the ERA events. It is our core belief that diversity of events benefits the rally community as a whole and we will therefore nurture the complementarity of both HERO and ERA events to achieve just that.
We will work tirelessly to ensure there will be no noticeable changes on any currently planned events nor on any future events. All current and future planned events will continue as planned and there will be no disruption in the planning and delivery of these events by the teams currently put in place by the ERA.
Last but not least, we were planning a full press/open day in autumn where, alongside the ERA staff, we intended to give all the necessary reassurances and have a Q&A session with anyone willing to participate or who has an interest. We intend to go ahead with this planned day and we will of course share the date and time with all in due course.
As for HERO, we embrace transparency and open dialogue with our members and competitors. This has been the foundation of the support we have enjoyed from our members and we look forward to meeting many ERA competitors very soon. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or further concerns
Tomas de Vargas Machuca