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Liberty Media Confirms Formula One Purchase For $4.4 Billion

Putting an end to years of speculation, US based mass media company 'Liberty Media' has confirmed that the firm will be the new owners of Formula One.
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By Sameer Contractor

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1 mins read

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Published on September 8, 2016

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Highlights

  • Liberty Media will be the new owners having purchased the stake from CVC
  • The total F1 deal is valued at $8 billion, including debts
  • Liberty Media's Chase Carey has been appointed as the new F1 chairman
Putting an end to years of speculation, US based mass media company 'Liberty Media' has confirmed that the firm will be the new owners of Formula One. The deal has been struck between the sport's current owners CVC and Liberty Media with the latter paying a whopping $4.4 billion. US based Liberty Media Corp., is owned by media magnate John Malone.

CVC Capital Partners, which is an equity firm bought its stake in F1 back in 2005, but sold some it in 2012, bringing its total share value to 35.5 per cent stake in the sport. Liberty has announced that it has initially purchased a minority stake of 18.7 per cent in F1 for $746 million, while the buyout is expected to be completed by March 2017. The total deal is valued at $8 billion, including debts. The deal is clearly one of the biggest in the history of motorsport, and will certainly be that way at least till the end of this decade.

Formula One is run by the Formula One Group, which comprises of several stakeholders. At the time of the sale, CVC had a major 35.5 percent stake in F1, followed by US fund manager Waddell & Reed at just a little over 20 per cent. Currenty F1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone, who has been running the sport for over 40 years, has 5.3 percent stake in F1 but his family Bambino Trust has a further 8.5 per cent, rounding up his involvement up to about 14 percent. CVC Capital Partners, the current owners of F1, will retain 65 per cent of the 'Formula 1 Group' - but will not control voting rights.

Bernie Ecclestone F1

Bernie Ecclestone will now work with Chase Carey of Liberty Media

With the first half of the deal complete, Liberty Media's representative Chase Carey has been appointed as the chairman of F1's board and will be working closely with Ecclestone, who retain his position as CEO.

While F1 has been criticised for its rapidly changing rules and decreasing TV ratings, the more recent years have brought some respite in the highly contested sport. And this is what Liberty Media will be building from here on, as it aims to re-build viewers across TV and digital platforms, while getting more younger audiences attracted towards the sport. Then there is also the increasing costs that teams, fans and race tracks that the new owners have to deal with.

Clearly, the 2017 F1 season won't just be about the new technologies, drivers, teams and power. With the new command in place, it needs to be seen as to how the sport will change for the good or worse. Moreover, how will the viewership change in the years to come.

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Last Updated on September 8, 2016


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