“This is one of the biggest deals in sports history and one of the most important moments in the history of F1,” writes BBC sports editor Dan Roan, as it was confirmed that the U.S. firm Liberty Media has confirmed it is buying the Formula 1 automobile racing business for $4.4 billion from the private equity firm CVC Capital.
While Chase Carey, vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox, was named the company’s new chairman it was announced that 85-year-old Bernie Ecclestone will remain as chief executive for the time being. Owned by the billionaire John Malone, Liberty will initially purchase a minority stake in the Grand Prix racing business, with a full takeover planned if regulators approve the deal.
The total transaction values the firm at $8.1 million but includes $4.1 billion worth of debt. Liberty Media holds stakes in several sports and entertainment businesses, including the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball club.
“We are excited to become part of Formula 1,” said Greg Maffei, chief executive of Liberty Media. “We think our long-term perspective and expertise with media and sports assets will allow us to be good stewards of Formula 1 and benefit fans, teams and our shareholders.”
Bernie Ecclestone said: “I would like to welcome Liberty Media and Chase Carey to Formula 1 and I look forward to working with them.” Earlier, he said in an interview with Reuters that he had been asked to stay on for three years and would miss the Singapore Grand Prix on 18 September as he needed be in London for the negotiations.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.