To add to this thread, here is some actual first-hand information and facts to throw in. Won't reveal how i have this info, so take it as you wish, but believe me this is first-hand.
Stephen Hooks has indeed surrendered his majority shareholding to Mangrove Equity 5 months ago. Reason, sadly, is pretty simple. No other financing avenues left to APR other than to sell out ownership in order to raise cash to keep the company going.
Most of what's been already said here is true. Motorsport team was completely disbanded last year after loosing a great deal of money (7 figures..) in the year the R8 was run. The workshop is entirely closed down recently, all the techs have been laid off/left. Court case with Audi of America over the unpaid R8 race-car bills. They've just lost the court case against VWR for unpaid bills last week. But overall the financial story is just really bad financial management over a long period of time, visible to all of us on the inside. Think we'd all agree that the engineering and brand marketing has always been APRs strength, but the financial control, business sense and maybe arrogance of the company's exec team has led to this.
It's been a long story over 24 months of simultaneously keeping up a public image of more and more expensive cars, motorsport, company jet, building expansion, lavish show presence, extravagent projects and just vanity tbh - yet leaving a trail of unpaid debts with suppliers, laying off staff, cuts to product investment, struggling for cash on a daily basis. All the company's assets are financed and refinanced, credit cards are maxed, loans taken from every source and 2 years of searching for investment have led APR to have no remaining options to secure the cash to finance the day to day operations. Sadly Hooks had to let the majority of his shares go in exchange for this cash injection.
The Mangrove Equity team have clearly seen an opportunity to 'grab' a good brand and good engineering team - but CEO Hooks, plus COO (Hook's best friend Johnny Petrina) have been relieved of duties, and had all management and budgetary control removed from them effective immediately. It's the classic corporate raid. Of course Hooks retains his minority shareholding and will remain in some figurehead capacity.
Speculation in the building is now that we will cut back on the non-profitable hardware lines, concentrate on the profitable remaps. And kill dead the extravagent lifestyle that the company has been providing its exec team at the expense of staff and suppliers.
Don't doubt that APR will probably have a bright future under Mangrove. Just very different and with a sensible business approach.
Third, the comments about Arin.. like a CEO or anyone that high up is going to know about what some employee wrote on message boards?
I agree with your first parts, however with this - that is/was part of Arin's job - to post on message boards. As a representative of APR. It directly affects the companies image. During a buyout every area of the company is scrutinized, usually by 3rd party efficiency experts who then advise upper management who should stay and who needs to go. Racecars and private jets are the obvious, low hanging fruit; digging deeper into day to day employee functions is just as necessary in a situation like this. I'm sure his roles/responsibilities were reviewed as well as his past work/posts.
IF (and that's a big if) his role was reduced, it could be for a few reasons, not just the content of his posts, but given the controversy that surrounded more than a few, I wouldn't be surprised if that was a contributing factor.
As someone who used to handle a job with similar capacities to Arin...
Upper management definitely keeps tabs on his forum presence.