A little over 10 years have passed since private equity fund manager CVC Capital Partners acquired majority control of Formula One Management with the intention of utilising F1's commercial rights in order to maximise its return on investment through funds made available by a variety of institutional investors - such as the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, or Calpers, California's civil service equivalent.
CVC's planned modus operandi was to list its latest sports property on Singapore's stock exchange in 2013. The business was restructured, with Strategy Group status and premium payments being offered to five big teams in exchange for commitments to remain in F1 from 2013 through to the end of 2020. That, figured CVC, would guarantee top dollar for the IPO.
However, a raft of factors, including the global economic crisis and F1 tsar Bernie Ecclestone's Munich fraud trial - the $100million settlement of which failed to soothe markets - conspired against the plan. CVC, which sold off half its share to retain 35.5% of FOM, found itself saddled with the rights-holding entity for well beyond the typical period for such investments, i.e. seven years.