Speculation that CVC, which holds a 35 percent stake in the sport, is poised to finally off-load its share of grand prix racing has been rife for several months.
To the casual observer, it would seem at least likely that F1 is owned by the FIA. It is, after all, known as the FIA Formula One World Championship. But in actuality, as far as the commercial rights are concerned, the sport is effectively owned by an intricate web of investment companies. But now the FIA has taken back at least a small part of it.
It is exceptionally rare for Bernie Ecclestone to be shown the yellow flag when it comes to his Formula One business dealings, but that's what happened with two of his projects. A month ago, Ecclestone agreed to terms with France's sports minister David Douillet to reinstate the French Grand Prix at the Paul Ricard circuit (which Ecclestone happens to own). The contract hadn't been signed while minor details were settled, but the plan was that the French GP would alternate with the Belgian GP st
Formula One has many homes: the Formula One Management company that controls its commercial aspects is based in London, the FIA that governs its sporting aspects is based in Paris, and you'd certainly have a point to make if you asserted its spiritual home was in Monaco. But none of these places are where its stakeholders are looking to float its Initial Public Offering. No, that place is Singapore.
CVC. To those familiar with the commercial side of things, those letters are synonymous with Formula One. But they weren't always, and they may not be forever. In fact, it is almost assured that the day will come when CVC Capital Partners will sell its majority stake in the premier racing series. The only question is to whom.
Ferrari and its stakeholders and executives (past and present) seem hell-bent on gaining control of Formula One and all it's worth. First came the election of former Ferrari CEO Jean Todt to the head of the FIA, which governs Formula One. Then more recently came reports that Exor – the Agnelli family trust that effectively owns Ferrari – was part of the consortium led by News Corp looking to buy into the sport's commercial rights. Now further details have emerged adding the Mubadala
It takes two to tango, and apparently Bernie Ecclestone is in no rush to lace up his dancing shoes. The F1 chief reportedly insists that, despite rumors of Rupert Murdoch and Carlos Slim joining forces to buy it out, the international motor racing series is not, in fact, for sale. CVC Capital, the holding company that owns the rights and to whom Ecclestone reports, receives substantial, multi-million-dollar annual dividends from F1, and so may be in no rush to divest.
There are ways to make friends, and ways to make enemies. Telling several members of your party they're unwelcome is a sure way to the latter, but then, Bernie Ecclestone has never shied away from controversy. In his latest statement, the Formula One chief has indicated that the field should be cut down from its current grid of 13 teams to just 10.
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