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SEPTEMBER 28, 2000

Ecclestone aware of car manufacturers proposed F1 buyout

Formula One ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone said on Thursday that he was aware of the interest of several car manufacturers to buy into SLEC, his Formula One holding company.

Five car manufacturers, believed to be BMW, Fiat, Ford, DaimlerChrysler and Renault, are expected to meet at the Paris Motor Show on Friday to talk about ways in which they can become involved in the running of Formula One.

Ecclestone said that he was aware a number of manufacturers are due to meet but said he had heard nothing of the proposed meeting in Paris.

"There is going to be a meeting between manufacturers," Ecclestone said. "But I don't know which manufacturers will meet or whether it is happening on Friday."

Ecclestone, a vice-president of the Federation Internationale l'Automobile (FIA), sold half of his stake in SLEC to German television broadcaster EM.TV in March.

But he has said that there are no plans to sell his remaining 50 per cent stake to the manufacturers and admitted that it had never even been discussed.

"Nobody has discussed selling the shares," he said. "We will not be selling our stake in the company."

DaimlerChrysler board member Jurgen Hubbert has said that a working group has been set up to discuss the possibility of being a part of the running of Formula One.