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APRIL 20, 2011

News Corp looking into F1 bid

News Corp is said to be investigating a potential takeover bid for Formula One.

Sky News City editor Mark Kleinman said that preliminary discussions have taken place with the world's richest man, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who already backs the Sauber team through the Telmex company, about forming a consortium to launch a bid.

Formula 1's current owner is CVC Capital partners, which bought a majority stakeholding from three German banks in 2006, a deal which is currently under investigation by Munich state prosecutors looking into an alleged $50m payment to Gerhard Gribbowsky, formerly an employee of Bayern LB, one of the three banks.

Speaking on today's Jeff Randall Live business programme on Sky TV, Kleinman said: "CVC has said repeatedly it has no firm plans to sell F1, but of course private equity firms always sell on their investments at some point."

Kleinman added that discussions are at a very early stage and there is no guarantee the New York-based media group will table a bid. Wall Street bank JP Morgan is currently advising the group on the situation.