MARCH 2, 2006
EU extends inquiry into F1 takeover
The European Union Competition Directorate has extended its inquiry into the acquisition of SLEC Holdings by CVC Capital Partners. The decision is now not due until March 21. The Ecclestone Family and BayernLB are selling their shares in the business of Formula 1, a move which will give CVC control of the business. CVC is also trying to buy the remaining shares which are held by Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan. The EU says that the extension is necessary because of it needs more time to analyse the "commitments" of the companies involved. The commission did not give any further details but there is speculation that it may be giving those involved the opportunity to settle any competition concerns. What is interesting, however, is that a month ago BayernLB appointed five new directors to the boards of various Formula One group companies. It is not clear why this would be a logical move after an announcement of a sale.
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