American media giant Liberty Media is reportedly close to completing a deal to wrest control of the commercial aspects of Formula One.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times on Sunday reported that Liberty Media is in advanced talks with private equity firm CVC Partners in a deal that would value the sport at between $8 billion and $9 billion and could be announced within the next two weeks.
The commercial aspects of F1, which includes lucrative advertising and television rights, is run by the Formula One Group, whose CEO and part owner is Bernie Ecclestone. The Formula One Group’s parent company is Delta Topco, which CVC Partners has a majority stake in.
The deal, which is yet to be finalized and requires approval from the FIA, would reportedly see Liberty Media take an initial stake of between 10 and 15 percent and eventually grow this to a controlling stake. Sky Sports reports that the plan is to eventually have F1 listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Liberty Media, controlled by American billionaire John Malone, came close to acquiring a 49 percent stake in the Formula One Group in 2014 through Liberty Media spinoff company Liberty Global as well as Discovery Communications.
Another key person reportedly linked with the latest deal is Chase Carey, who heads 21st Century Fox. Some readers will recall that the Rupert Murdoch-linked media giant in 2011 was in the headlines over a deal to take control of the Formula One Group, though it never materialized.
Stay tuned for an update.