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Russian tycoon buys TVR

The son of a Russian banker has bought British sports car maker TVR for an undisclosed sum.

Nikolai Smolensky, the son of Russian banker Alexander Smolensky, bought 100% of the firm, TVR said late on Tuesday.

"Plans for the future are to continue trading, invest heavily in new technology and production methods, and enhance the TVR brand to become a global player," TVR said in a statement.

Russian media put Smolensky's age at 23 or 24.

Smolensky's father was the chairman of SBS-Agro, which was Russia's second largest retail bank until it failed in the country's 1998 financial crisis, owing more than $1bn (£55m).

"I am very enthusiastic about the potential of TVR and am grateful for the opportunity to become a car manufacturer," explains Nikolai Smolenski. "I have always been a fan of British car manufacturing and believe that the best automotive designers and engineers are in this country."

Founded in 1947 and built up over the last 23 years by Peter Wheeler, TVR's profile has grown over the last ten years. "It's been a fascinating time and I shall be very sad when I eventually leave," says Wheeler. "However, it's time to hand the reins over to a younger man and I look forward to helping him with his exciting plans."

He remains with the Blackpool based company as a senior consultant overseeing styling and engineering.

Plans to bring the new Sagaris and Tuscan 2 models into production continue unchanged and the first demonstrators of both cars will be arriving in dealerships in the UK, Japan, mainland Europe and South Africa over the next couple of months.

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