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Formula One acquired by Liberty Media for US$4.4b

September 9, 2016

Despite his insistence that Formula One was not up for sale, Bernie Ecclestone has sold Formula One to Liberty Media in a multi-billion-dollar deal.

Formula One

Liberty Media, a US conglomerate headed by John C. Malone, is set to purchase an 18.7 per cent stake in F1 for US$746 million, with a buyout expected to be completed by March next year. Among other things, John Malone also owns the American baseball team the Atlanta Braves and is worth a reported US$7.1 billion.

The deal values F1 at US$8 billion (about AU$10.4 billion), including debt, according to a company statement.

Bernie Ecclestone, who remains the CEO of F1, said this week:

“I would like to welcome Liberty Media and Chase Carey to Formula One and I look forward to working with them.”

While Bernie will remain for at least three more years, as stipulated in the takeover agreement, he now has a new boss in the form of Liberty Media chairman Chase Carey. Carey is also the vice-chairman of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

“There’s lots of new things we are going to have to start putting into place, bringing them up to speed … I am very, very happy that they can come in and do things (for the sport),” Ecclestone informed the Associated Press.

“I hope they do a lot because they are American and have had dealings in television in America for a long time. They have dealings with a lot of sponsors because of their TV networks and social media which we haven’t done (as much) in the past,” Ecclestone said.

Currently F1’s largest partner, CVC Capital, who owns a 65 per cent stake, will retain their share until the full takeover but will be forced to concede control to Liberty Media, who will eventually control all voting shares.

Alexi is a contributing news journalist and junior road tester at PerformanceDrive. He has a passion and appreciation for the engineering in cars, as well as new technologies that lessen the impact on the environment. His dream cars are an M3 to drive to work, and a LaFerrari for the weekend.