FEBRUARY 15, 2002
Bernie in league with DaimlerChrysler and Fiat?
THE latest word in Formula 1 circles is that Bernie Ecclestone is going to buy back the company which owns the commercial rights of Grand Prix racing but will do so in league with DaimlerChrysler and Fiat, the major players in the plan to launch a new manufacturer-backed World Championship. The implication is that everyone involved in the sport will ultimate become shareholders in the business and that the distribution of income will then be much more acceptable to the teams. This is a logical conclusion to the problems and it is expected that in the longer term the Ecclestone Family would retain its 25% of the business while the rest of the SLEC shares would be split between the manufacturers. Organizing such a deal will not be easy but Ecclestone knows that if a deal is not struck with the teams there will be no value in the business and so his family's 25% share will be worth nothing. A compromise is therefore the best answer to the problem.
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