In the second part of an exclusive two-part feature, Sam Smith reveals Alejandro Agag's thoughts on the present and future of Formula E's corporate structure.
In March 2014, global media titans Liberty Global and Discovery Communications bought into the Formula E vision, a crucial injection of both liquidity and faith in what Agag and his founding shareholders had built up from the moment they had won the tender for the championship in 2012.
Liberty and Discovery’s involvement has underpinned some solid future foundations for the full-on electric revolution to accelerate.
“They (Liberty Global and Discovery Communications) are the largest shareholder but there is not a majority shareholder,” Agag told Motorsport.com.
“The relationships we have are very good and progressive. We meet every week and are in constant communication. The support they give to the company (FEH Ltd) and the championship is very efficient on a corporate level.”
“They have been fundamental for the transformation of the structure and management within the company,” he continued. “We have people from Liberty and Discovery in the company and everything is gelling very quickly and to plan.”
One of the most high profile appointments was Mike Papadimitriou, who joined (on a 12-month secondment) as Chief Financial Officer. The employee of Discovery Communication, who has worked for the company since 2008, also has a Human Resources remit at FEH.
“Of course Liberty and Discovery bring the financial stability that we need,” says Agag. “We have no financial worries for the future. It is very, very important to consolidate the project and their effect is going to be felt very soon.
"The company is in very good shape and in terms of the corporate side of Formula E we are in a fantastic and exciting position.
“We began as a start-up with lots of ideas and a bit of money because it was always a project with a large dimension and large vision,” stated Agag.
“We did everything that we needed to do in order to attract large sponsors. We had venture capitalists supporting us and it was, and still is, very good in this way. But to also have a major global corporation behind us has transformed us from a start-up in to a corporate entity for the future.”
That future looks good for the championship, but, as ever in motorsport, nothing lasts forever and tomorrow always supersedes today. What could the corporate make-up of Formula E Holdings Ltd look like further down the line?
“There are different options,” says Agag. “They are all open but definitely any of these passes through Liberty and Discovery. So whatever we do in the future, whether we get listed, they buy the whole company, or they still have a similar stake, then it will go through them.”
Naturally, a lot will depend on when the company will start to make a profit, no easy task in international motor sport. Yet, speaking to Agag and members of his team, the messages are consistent.
Formula E is growing up fast, and although it may hit some troublesome ‘teenager’ years soon, it is arming itself with enough robust defences to emerge as a confident and visionary strand of racing that can change perceptions of the very fabric of how motorsport is perceived by future generations.