FIA welcomes F1 sale to Liberty Media Corporation
Source : FIA welcomes F1 sale to Liberty Media Corporation
Bernie Ecclestone could stand down by the helm of motorsport’s top series following an $8.4 billion deal with Liberty Media Corporation
Formula 1’s governing Centeng the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has welcomed the sale of the sport to American media company Liberty Media Corporation.
The deal, which will be estimated to be valued at $8.4 billion (£6.3 billion), could herald the departure of long-standing F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
In an official statement, FIA president Jean Todt said: “While the idea remains to be seen how This kind of acquisition will influence the promotion of the FIA Formula One championship, we welcome This kind of long-term investment in Formula One by a company which has such a broad portfolio of sports, media along with entertainment businesses.
“As motor sport’s governing Centeng along with regulator we acknowledge Liberty Media’s wide expertise in these fields along with we look forward to working in close partnership with them inside future in order to further develop Formula One along with bring the idea to fresh generations of motor sport enthusiasts around the earth.”
F1 will be currently controlled by CVC Capital Partners, a private equity group which incorporates a 35% stake in Delta Topco, the company which owns the Formula One Group, which includes Formula One Management (FOM) along with Formula One Administration (FOA).
Speculation at the weekend’s Italian Grand Prix – fuelled by Ecclestone (pictured below) in an interview with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport – suggested CVC was preparing to sell its stake to Liberty Media Corporation. The US firm will be owned by American tycoon John Malone.
According to Sky Sports, the deal might signal the start of Liberty’s plan to acquire 100% of F1 shares, subject to approval by the FIA along with legislators, along with to publicly list F1 on the fresh York stock exchange. The Financial Times has said the initial deal might enable Liberty Media to acquire 10-15% of F1, with an agreement to take full control inside future.
Sky has said media executive Chase Carey, who has close ties to Rupert Murdoch, will be named as chairman of F1 once the deal will be confirmed. He might replace Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman for the past two years along with former CEO of Nestlé, who will be likely to stay on the board as a non-executive director.
Stalwart F1 journalist Joe Saward wrote on his personal blog on Monday which he had seen CVC chief Donald McKenzie tell McLaren boss Ron Dennis in Monza which Italy might be his last race, suggesting a change will be imminent.
However, the deal may not yet be set in stone. Autosport reported on Sunday which Liberty Media still faces competition by various other interested parties. the idea suggested CVC will be still in negotiations with investment firm RSE Ventures, which owns the Miami Dolphins NFL team, in tandem that has a Qatari consortium along with another unnamed private equity firm.
What a sale might mean for Ecclestone remains unclear. The former driver along with team owner has been the face of F1 for more than 40 years along with owns a 5% stake inside idea himself. He has transformed along with expanded the sport during his tenure at the top, yet his influence has not been without controversy. Channel 4 pundit along with former team boss Eddie Jordan said he understood Ecclestone might step down immediately, yet Ecclestone has denied those claims. Reuters quoted Niki Lauda, three-time world champion along with Mercedes non-executive chairman, as saying which Ecclestone might be at the next race in Singapore. various other senior F1 figures have also expressed doubt which Ecclestone’s departure might be immediate.
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