Thursday, 8 September 2016

F1 Takeover - Sky Sports: Liberty Media buys Formula 1 in £6bn deal

Story from Sky Sports:

US firm Liberty Media has bought Formula 1 in a £6bn deal, bosses have confirmed.

Sky News revealed last month that Liberty was on the verge of sealing the takeover of the sport.

CVC Capital Partners is handing over its ownership after taking a controlling stake in 2005.

Liberty is backed by John Malone, the American media tycoon.

Sources have previously said the takeover will see the sport gain a public stock listing for the first time through a tracking stock called Liberty Media Group.

A takeover will yield a windfall of more than $400m (£300m) for veteran F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who owns a 5.3 per cent stake.

The 85-year-old will remain in his role it has been confirmed - at least for a transitional period of a few years.

In a statement, he said: "I would like to welcome Liberty Media and Chase Carey to Formula One and I look forward to working with them."

A frenetic period for the ownership and management of F1 will also involve Chase Carey, a former DirecTV and News Corporation executive.

Mr Carey, who continues to serve on the board of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox and is also a director of Sky plc, the owner of Sky News, has been made chairman.

He said: "I greatly admire Formula One as a unique global sports entertainment franchise attracting hundreds of millions of fans each season from all around the world.

"I see great opportunity to help Formula One continue to develop and prosper for the benefit of the sport, fans, teams and investors alike."

Sky Sports HQ's Craig Slater said the deal has a few hurdles to get over before it can be completed.

"It's a watershed moment for Formula 1," he said.

"I think we will just have to see in the coming weeks just exactly what it means.There are a couple of hurdles the takeover has to go through yet."

The deal will take part in two parts.

The first tranche would involve the acquisition of an 18.7 per cent stake of F1 and would not be subject to regulatory conditions.

The remainder of the deal would see Liberty Media Corp acquiring the remaining 81.3 per cent of the company, which would be subject to the approval of certain regulators as well as the FIA, world motorsport's governing body.

Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman said: "The overall deal may not be complete for a few months, but there's no doubt that this is a very significant moment for Formula 1."

©2016 Sky.