'F1 banks' agree to sell F1 stake to GPWC

GPWC and the three 'F1 banks' have claimed a "breakthrough" in the dispute over the 'ownership' of F1 after agreeing to sign a memorandum of understanding to negotiate the sale of the latter's 75 percent stake in the commercial rights holder, SLEC Holdings. The outcome of yesterday's meeting [Dec 4] puts on hold the threat by GPWC (BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari, Ford and Renault) to organise its own race series in 2008, on the expiry of the current Concorde Agreement

'F1 banks' agree to sell F1 stake to GPWC

A brief joint statement said: "We are happy that today we reached a breakthrough in our negotiations about the future of F1. The outcome is in the interests of F1 and the millions of fans around the world."

Bayerische Landesbank, JPMorgan and Lehmann Brothers acquired their shares in SLEC after the failure of Kirch Gruppe, the failed German media corporation, in lieu of loan repayments valued at US$1.6bn. Kirch had itself acquired them when buying up another bankrupt German media company, EM.TV & Merchandising.

The remaining 25 percent of the stock is held by Bambino, a family trust established by Bernie Ecclestone, the principal of the Formula One group of companies in London.

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