Liberty Media faces competition for sale of Formula 1

The sale of Formula 1 to Liberty Media Corporation is not yet guaranteed because the group still faces competition from other interested parties, Autosport understands

Liberty Media faces competition for sale of Formula 1

Speculation on Sunday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix suggested F1's current majority shareholder private equity company CVC Capital Partners was poised to end its 10-year involvement by selling its 35.5% stake, with a deal possible as soon as Tuesday.

But sources suggest negotiations will go on longer, not least because there remain two other potential buyers still in the running.

Liberty Media, run by multi-billionaire media mogul John Malone, who owns the Atlanta Braves in Major League Baseball and is also the largest landowner in the United States, is the frontrunner.

DIETER RENCKEN: What would Liberty dollars mean for F1?

But CVC is also understood to still be negotiating with RSE Ventures, an investment firm run by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who is working in tandem with a Qatari consortium, and another as yet unnamed private equity firm.

The price tag is believed to be somewhere in the region of $8.4billion (£6.31bn), which would represent a profit of $6.4bn on CVC's original outlay in 2006.

Though there has long been speculation over CVC's future in F1, this is the closest it has been to a full or partial exit.

The belief is CVC would be willing to accept a downpayment, in the region of $5billion, for an initial 20% stake, with an option for any buyer to purchase the remaining shareholding.

The situation is further clouded by the fact another of F1's shareholders in Norge, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund based in Norway, is also looking to sell up.

At present CVC is the largest shareholder, with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone holding a 5.3% stake, while the 85-year-old's Bambino family trust has a further 8.5%.

The other shareholders are investment management company Blackrock and US fund manager Waddell & Reed.

It is believed CVC is taking strict control of sale talks without too much influence from Ecclestone - who still spent time in the Monza paddock speaking to CVC co-owner Donald Mackenzie, Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne and Daimler head Dieter Zetsche.

While it is possible Ecclestone could be ousted as he is effectively only an employee of CVC under the current arrangement, the belief is he would remain for at least a handover period given his level of influence over and connections in F1.

It has been suggested Chase Carey, executive vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox and a former business partner of Malone, would become F1's new chairman.

Current Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag has also been linked with a possible role, potentially as Ecclestone's successor at chief executive level, along with Zak Brown, another American businessman and motorsport enthusiast.

shares
comments
Pressure got to Gutierrez in Italian GP, says Haas F1 boss Steiner

Previous article

Pressure got to Gutierrez in Italian GP, says Haas F1 boss Steiner

Next article

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes F1 start problems not a quick fix

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes F1 start problems not a quick fix
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021