Liberty Media close to F1 takeover deal, claims report

Formula 1's owners could be listed on New York's Nasdaq stock exchange if an $8.5 billion bid being put together to take control of the sport comes off, claims a report by Sky News.

Liberty Media close to F1 takeover deal, claims report
Bernie Ecclestone
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads at the start of the race
The start of the race
Donald McKenzie, CVC Capita

Liberty Media Corporation, a company backed by American media tycoon John Malone, is reported to be in detailed talks with F1's controlling shareholders CVC Capital Partners.

It is suggested that the idea is for a two-phase takeover – with a first takeover of a minority stake potentially getting completed in a matter of weeks, prior to a later majority takeover.

The company would then be absorbed in to the parent Liberty Media Group – which is listed.

However, the deal is not the only one on the table with a rival bid said to also be coming from Malone's other business Liberty Global – which is working on a deal with Discovery Communications.

CVC currently has a 35 percent stake in F1, with US-based fund manager Waddell & Reed owning 20 percent.

Ecclestone suggested last year that a deal was close for F1 to get new owners, before later suggesting that CVC was not so keen to exit.

"I said there are three people that are interested in buying," Ecclestone commented.

"They have been talking a little bit, but now they are a lot more interested. If the shareholders want to sell, they will sell.

"I am not selling. That is what the problem is.

"Mr McKenzie, who is the controlling shareholder, also doesn't want to sell. If someone wants to buy and someone doesn't want to sell it is difficult."

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