By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Colorado based company Liberty Media has confirmed it will undertake a buyout of Formula One from current majority stakeholders CVC Capital Partners, who have owned the majority stake in F1 for a decade.
Liberty has already purchased a stake of 18.7% for $746 million. The plan calls for them to purchase the rest of CVC’s shares, at which point the company will be aptly renamed from the Liberty Media Group to the Formula One Group.
Despite some changes behind the scenes, few immediate changes will happen. Chase Carey, former executive vice president of 21st Century Fox will serve as the new F1 Chairman, replacing Peter Brabeck-Letmathe who will become a non-executive director. Carey promises that the company will usher in a new era for F1 and purchase a full 100 percent of Delta Topco, the parent company of Formula One.
For his part, Carey is excited and optimistic about the changes Liberty can bring to the pinnacle of motorsport.
“I am thrilled to take up the role of chairman of Formula One and have the opportunity to work alongside Bernie Ecclestone, CVC, and the Liberty Media team. I greatly admire Formula One as a unique global sports entertainment franchise attracting hundreds of millions of fans each season from all around the world. I see great opportunity to help Formula One continue to develop and prosper for the benefit of the sport, fans, teams and investors alike.”
The lucrative deal values Formula One at $8 billion, but came with a crucial question; the fate of longtime F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. The answer to that question has also been revealed as Liberty has asked Ecclestone to stay on for a further three years. Whether Ecclestone will retire at that point, when he will be age 88, we can only hope.