Formula 1 Motor Racing Bought by Liberty Media: Latest Details and Reaction

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2016

Formula Ones' chief executive Bernie Ecclestone gestures at a paddock after the third free practice at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Saturday, July 9, 2016. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday July 10. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Associated Press

Liberty Media Corporation confirmed it has agreed to purchase a significant stake in Formula One motor racing as part of a deal that will ultimately lead to the full sale of the sports organisation.

Sky News reported on Wednesday the deal was worth a sum of $8 billion (£6 billion), although BBC Sports' Dan Roan revealed only a partial stake would be sold at first:

Dan Roan @danroan

It's official. Liberty Media & CVC announce $8billion takeover of F1. Initial sale of 18.7% stake with with full sale subject to conditions

Current owner Bernie Ecclestone has played an executive role at the top level of Formula One for more than 40 years, having ascended into a chief position in the early 1970s.

However, the business mogul may not be an absent figure altogether. The Daily Mail's Jonathan McEvoy reported Ecclestone has been offered a new role to remain with Formula One in some capacity.

The 85-year-old said: "I have been offered a contract to stay and help them. It's whether I want to do that. We'll see."

Sky Sports News HQ provided more background on the deal, as well as further detail regarding Ecclestone's sustained role within Formula One:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

BREAKING: Liberty Media has bought Formula One motor racing in a £6bn deal. #SSNHQ https://t.co/XEobFT4iVx

Liberty Media Corporation is set to claim a controlling stake in the company from CVC Capital Partners, who have owned a majority share since taking over in 2005.

Roan also provided a statement from Chase Carey, vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox and chairman of Liberty Media Group—a subset of Liberty Media Corporation—as well as Ecclestone and CVC:

Dan Roan @danroan

Statements by Liberty Media, new F1 chairman Chase Carey, Bernie Ecclestone & CVC here https://t.co/C4ao8nDZN0

According to Bloomberg's Eric Pfanner, CVC will own a 65 percent stake in Liberty Media Group after the transaction, at which point it will be renamed Formula One Group.

The Yorkshire Post's James Mitchinson argued there's little value to the deal, however:

James Mitchinson @JayMitchinson

BREAKING: Liberty Media Corporation confirms it has bought #Formula1 for £6bn. Jesus. Imagine how much it would cost if it was interesting!

Liberty is backed by John Malone, referred to by Sky News as an "American media tycoon" who boasts an estimated wealth of $7.1 billion (£5.3 million), according to Forbes.

It's reported the initial down payment for the Formula One sale will be worth $600 million (£450 million), while the remainder of the £6 billion transfer will be completed over the next six months.

Per McEvoy's report, 1996 world champion Damon Hill mused it would be "peculiar" when Ecclestone finally does take his leave from the sport's hierarchy, since he has ruled for close to half a century.

The British business magnate owns a 5.3 percent stake in the company and is expected to earn a windfall of $400 million (£300 million) from the deal, per Sky News.


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