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LONDON (Reuters) -- Renault aims to complete its takeover of the Lotus Formula One team on Dec. 16 and pay creditors, including the UK's tax authorities, by the end of the year, the High Court in London heard on Monday.

All parties in a protracted case brought against the struggling Lotus racing team by authorities over unpaid tax, with other creditors also represented, agreed to a further adjournment to December 21.

"We are in a different territory now," a lawyer for the team told the court.

"You got away with it...or rather, it has been got away with," commented the judge, Justice Birss, after hearing none of the creditors objected to the adjournment that he said was clearly in the best interests of all parties.

The alternative would have been to put the Lotus team into administration.

Renault, currently an engine supplier to former world champions Red Bull, announced last week they would be returning to Formula One as a full constructor by taking a controlling stake in the Lotus team.

Lotus, formerly owned by Renault before a race-fixing scandal broke in 2009, has limped to the finish line this season with current owners, Luxembourg-based Genii, injecting only enough cash to keep the team alive.

Bailiffs impounded the team’s cars after the Belgian Grand Prix in August and staff were denied access to the paddock hospitality in Japan due to unpaid bills.

Lotus F1 CEO Matthew Carter, who attended the hearing, said the remaining matters were merely procedural.

"It's the 16th [December] for the share purchase agreement and they [Renault] are agreeing to pay all the creditors by the 31st," he told Reuters outside the courtroom.

"So I guess when we come back on the 21st it will be to ensure that the SPA has been signed.”

"It's been an interesting process all the way through but we are where we are," said Carter who said his own future with the team had yet to be decided.

Genii Capital chairman and current Lotus principal Gerard Lopez told Reuters at the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi last month that he would retain a shareholding in the team.

"Everyone's time and effort has been focused on getting this across the line and now I guess we take stock of the situation and decide which way Renault want to jump," said Carter.

"We'll see how Renault want to run things and what their plans are."

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Amazing that enough has been saved by not investing in this years Red Bull team, to cover creditors of Lotus. Quality accounting in practice.
 
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