Formula One Takeover Details: Bernie's Still the Boss, New Chairman Announced

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

New details about the Formula One purchase trickled out last night after the buyer, Liberty Media Corp., agreed a deal to take over the sport.

The U.S.-based entertainment and telecommunications giant will initially pay $4.4 billion for a controlling stake in the franchise, The Guardian reports, and a familiar white-haired figure will keep his job.

The cash-and-stock deal wrestles control of the sport away from CVC Capital partners, which has controlled the franchise for the past decade. Liberty Media, headed by tycoon John Malone, will hold an 18.7 percent stake in Formula One until the deal closes in 2017, at which point the company gains all of the voting shares. CVC will reportedly remain a non-voting shareholder.

In a statement, Liberty Media claimed, “The transaction price represents an enterprise value for Formula One of $8 (billion) and an equity value of $4.4 (billion).”

Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One’s snow-haired 85-year-old chief executive, will keep his job, but he’ll be working with a new chairman. Liberty Media claims, “Chase Carey will serve as the new chairman of Formula One, succeeding Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, who will remain on Formula One’s board as a non-executive director.”

Yesterday, Reuters reported that Ecclestone was asked to stay on for another three years as CEO.

Formula One is seen as a cash cow for Liberty Media, which plans to use its media prowess to milk more profits from the lucrative franchise. “There’s an opportunity to continue to build this business and take it to the next level,” Carey said during an investor call late yesterday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Carey claims that Formula One attracts a large TV audience — one with all the right demographics to lure in big-buck advertisers.

[Image: Leo Hidalgo/ Flickr]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Sep 08, 2016

    The disparity of the haves and have not is striking these days in Motorsport in general, especially in F1. Honestly , any middling F1 driver can be put in the Mercedes car and podium every race. I mean Hamilton started from the back last week and still took a podium spot. I still prefer sports car racing with production based vehicles for the best wheel to wheel racing entertainment. I still will make the trek to Montreal (or maybe Austin) every 3-4 years for the live human spectacle though

  • Thornmark Thornmark on Sep 08, 2016

    Chase Carey was raised in my hometown and settled there after Harvard. Carey is #2 to Rupert Murdoch as Vice Chairman of 21st Century Fox . At 62, this must be fun for him.

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