F1 shares not for sale, says Ecclestone

Grand Prix racing supremo Bernie Ecclestone says he will not sell his stake in Formula 1, despite growing interest from several motor manufacturers involved in the sport

F1 shares not for sale, says Ecclestone

A consortium of five manufacturers involved in Grand Prix racing, including DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford, Renault and BMW, are poised to launch a bid for at least a 30 percent stake in SLEC, Ecclestone's holding company for all of F1's commercial activities, including TV broadcast rights.

Ecclestone now holds a 50 per cent share in SLEC after selling the other half to German TV and media group EMTV last March.

The manufacturers are believed to be meeting at the Paris motor show today (Friday) to discuss launching their bid, but Ecclestone has told BBC Online that his stake is not for sale.

"Nobody has discussed selling the shares," he said. "We will not be selling our stake in the company.

"There is going to be a meeting between manufacturers," he added, "but I don't know which manufacturers will meet or whether it is happening on Friday."

A likely scenario is that the manufacturers would target the stake held by EMTV. The company is said to be disappointed by the F1 teams' lack of a cohesive policy on merchandising and commercial exploitation and could therefore be willing to release a significant amount of its shares.

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