Honda website
Honda website

SEPTEMBER 29, 2000

If Bernie will not sell...

Bernie Ecclestone says he is not planning to sell his family's stake in the Formula One group of companies and so automobile bosses meeting in Paris will have to decide if they want to push ahead and try to buy the shares held by Thomas Haffa's EM.TV. Haffa is trying to offload his 50% shareholding in F1 but wants to make a big profit from the deal, despite the fact that he is done little since he bought into the sport six months ago.

The car manufacturers know that Haffa is in a weak position because there is no obvious buyer other than car firms. Haffa's plan to create a central merchandising structure for Formula 1 flopped rapidly when the teams failed to agree terms and his shareholders have been unhappy ever since. In recent weeks EM.TV's share price has bounced back from its lowest prices but the shares are still unstable and are worth only half of what they were in March when Haffa invested in F1.

The move makes sene for the car companies as they are currently getting very little income from their investments in F1. If they owned half of Ecclestone's group they would be taking 75% of the money for the sale of the TV rights.