Bernie Ecclestone reveals Formula 1 could be sold 'this year'

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed Formula 1 could be sold off before the end of this year

Bernie Ecclestone reveals Formula 1 could be sold 'this year'

F1 supremo Ecclestone claims there are currently three serious bidders in the running to purchase a majority shareholding.

At present CVC Capital Partners holds the largest share at 35.5 per cent, with Ecclestone claiming a 5.3 per cent stake, while the 84-year-old's Bambino family trust has a further 8.5 per cent.

The other shareholders are investment management company Blackrock, US fund manager Waddell & Reed, Norges, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund based in Norway, with a 15 per cent stake held by failed investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Speaking at the Camp Beckenbauer Global Summit via telephone, 84-year-old Ecclestone revealed a number of shares are due to become available soon.

Asked about the future ownership of F1, Ecclestone said: "Our shareholders are in a position at the moment where they have to lose some, or all, of their shares shortly.

"That's the way things are set up for them.

"There has been a lot of interest, and I would say there are three parties at the moment [where] I'd be surprised if one of them doesn't buy very shortly."

Questioned on the timeframe he expected for there to be a new owner of F1, Ecclestone replied: "This year."

It emerged in June that a US-Qatari consortium was interested in CVC's holding, led by RSE Ventures, an investment firm run by Stephen Ross, the owner of the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

Last year Liberty Global and Discovery Communications, run by one of the world's richest men in billionaire American businessman John Malone, was also mentioned as a potential buyer.

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