More bidders join race to buy F1

JUNE 29, 2015

More bidders join race to buy F1

More bidders have reportedly joined the race to buy formula one.

Last week, it emerged that the sport's controlling shareholder, CVC, as well as Bernie Ecclestone could sell their respective stakes to a consortium involving Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and Qatar's sports investment arm.

But F1 supremo Ecclestone hinted that they might not be alone, as "three or four" potential bidders are in fact interested in the commercial rights.

Now, the Sunday Times reports that the broadcaster Sky is among them, backed by American billionaire John Malone of the international telcom Liberty Global.

Sources told the report that Sky-Liberty "have held informal discussions with CVC about a deal", while Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, whose 16-year-old son Lance is in Ferrari's driver academy, "has also been linked with a bid".

"CVC has recruited Goldman Sachs to advise on its options," the Sunday Times added.

Fascinatingly, the news follows a report in London's Times newspaper that CVC looked into buying Formula E, the all-electric series that raced on the streets of London at the weekend.

But the report said CVC's Donald Mackenzie "pulled back because of potential problems with European competition authorities".

F1's much-reported problems have been highlighted recently by the success of Formula E as well as Le Mans sports car racing, and Virgin's Sir Richard Branson thinks Formula E "will overtake formula one" within a few years.

But FIA president Jean Todt said of Formula E and F1: "It's a nonsense to think they are competing against each other.

"F1 is fascinating (so) I'm wondering why there is such negativity around it. Where is the passion to make it better?" added the Frenchman.

(GMM)

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