CVC Capital Partners – the investment group that owns the majority of Formula One – has been toying with floating an IPO on the Singapore Stock Exchange for several weeks now, and according to reports is gearing up for the move. Both Bloomberg and Reuters are expecting that the stock issue would constitute about 20% of the business, likely to come mostly out of CVC's end which amounts to 63.4 percent, and not that of its manager Bernie Ecclestone whose stake comes to 5.3%. (Lehman Brothers holds another 15.3%, Ecclestone's ex-wife Slavica owns 8.5%, with the remaining 7.5% divided up between various minority investors.)
With the overall value of the business estimated at $10 billion, the 20% tipped to be offered on the open market is expected to bring in $2 billion in capital for its sellers, however CVC could opt for the minimum 15% to raise $15 billion. So... why Singapore? The vital Asian business capital has apparently been chosen to help F1 drum up support in the Far East, a region where grands prix are held in Malaysia, China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore itself.