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Minardi is sold

MINARDI will announce today that Gabriele Rumi has sold his 70% shareholding in the team to its sponsor the Panamerican Sports Network, which controls the digital TV rights for Formula 1 in South America. The deal is believed to be worth around $50m for Rumi.

PSN is owned by the American venture capital firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. The company has been building up its media portfolio in recent months with investment in the United States where it recently merged the AMFM broadcast group with Clear Channel Communications to form a major new broadcast and advertising business. The firm has also recently announced a merger of its South American television operations with UnitedGlobalCom, which is the parent company of Arrows sponsor Chello. It remains to be seen if the investment being made in Minardi will affect the Arrows deal.

Giancarlo Minardi, who owns 14.5% of the shares in the team he founded, will remain in his current role. The remaining 15.5% of the shares are owned by a variety of Italian investors left over from when the team was merged with Scuderia Italia.

It remains to be seen whether or not the team will keep its Telefonica deal as Prost Grand Prix is keen to sign up the Spanish telephone company.

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