CVC Capital Partners announced Friday that it has acquired controlling interest in Formula 1, buying out German bank BayernLB and Bernie Ecclestone. CVC will form a new venture, Alpha Prema, owned by CVC, Ecclestone, and undisclosed members of "the Formula One management team" (possibly involving some F1 teams).

CVC is reported to be negotiating to also acquire the non-voting shares still held by JP Morgan and Lehmann Brothers, although this is peripheral to today's deal.

Ecclestone and his various enterprises will end up owning 18 percent of Formula One, according to Reuters.

Today's announcement is probably good for the sport. Beyond ending the draining dispute between Ecclestone and the bankers, it puts ownership in the hands of investors with a successful motorsports track record. CVC is behind the transformation of the FIM World Motorcycle Championship into today's successful MotoGP enterprise.

It remains to be seen if CVC can repair relationships with the Grand Prix Manufacturer's Association, which is threatening to break away from F1 and establish its own series.

[via an 'anonymous' tip]



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