F1 sale to be com­pleted be­fore start of sea­son

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

The sport’s new own­ers could col­lect the keys ear­lier than planned af­ter com­pe­ti­tion author­i­ties ap­prove the sale

Liberty Me­dia will com­plete their pur­chase of a con­trol­ling in­ter­est in F1 in the rst quar­ter of 2017. The com­pany, which bought 18.7 per cent of F1 for US$746m in cash in Septem­ber 2016, will take their share­hold­ing to 35.3 per cent in a deal that val­ues the busi­ness at US$8bn. Liberty say they have “all re­quired ap­provals from all ap­pro­pri­ate anti-trust author­i­ties in con­nec­tion with the pend­ing ac­qui­si­tion of For­mula 1”.

The next step is ap­proval by all Liberty share­hold­ers, just af­ter F1 Rac­ing goes to press, on 17 Jan­uary, and by the FIA, which is a for­mal­ity. In­sid­ers say the deal should be com­pleted be­fore April and there are not ex­pected to be any im­me­di­ate changes once Liberty take over from for­mer ma­jor­ity own­ers CVC Cap­i­tal Part­ners, who will re­tain a 24.7 per cent hold­ing once the deal is com­plete.

Liberty seek to lay new foun­da­tions for F1 in 2017. They want to grow the busi­ness through more ac­tive use of dig­i­tal me­dia, with a fo­cus on the core Euro­pean races, which they see as be­ing F1’s heart­land and an as­set to be val­ued and nur­tured. They also want to in­vest more in the US, and are tar­get­ing new races there.

Chair­man Chase Carey has been play­ing a low-key role since the deal was an­nounced, but has been meet­ing with ma­jor stake­hold­ers and other in­ter­ested par­ties as he at­tempts to form a pic­ture of where F1 is at. Many have told him the sport is “dys­func­tional” un­der the cur­rent regime and needs a re­vamp, par­tic­u­larly in gov­er­nance.

Bernie Ec­cle­stone’s fu­ture, once the deal is com­plete, is un­clear. If he stays on, it will only be on the con­di­tion that he op­er­ates un­der strict guide­lines, a sit­u­a­tion with which he has never been com­fort­able.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.