European car manufacturers step-up Formula One interest

EIGHT European car manufacturers have stepped up their interest in buying a stake in Formula One after writing letters to the two major shareholders in the sport Bernie Ecclestone and EM.TV.

Ecclestone sold 50 per cent of his SLEC Formula One company, which controls the commercial rights of the sport, to German media company EM.TV in March this year for 1.3 billion (pounds).

The car manufacturers, reported to include Ferrari, DaimlerChrysler, Ford and Renault, have written to both parties with the expressed interest of investing in Grand Prix racing.

Ecclestone stated last month that he is not prepared to sell his share in SLEC, but EM.TV it is reported are ready to open discussions with the car manufacturers.

EM.TV's own shares have slumped since their investment in SLEC and with the car manufacturers keen to secure their future in the sport they could be tempted to negotiate.

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