Nico Rosberg took advantage of a poor start from Lewis Hamilton to go on and win an uneventful Italian Grand Prix at Monza. But remember, this is F1 so the weekend was not devoid of drama. Before the race Autosport.com reported F1’s sale was imminent and an official announcement could come as early as Tuesday.
CVC Capital Partners who owns a 35.5% stake in F1 is poised to end its 10-year involvement by selling its majority stake. The frontrunner to purchase was led by Liberty Media. Liberty Media is run by multi-billionaire media mogul John Malone. Malone is a multi-billionaire who owns the Atlanta Braves, and in addition he is the largest land owner in the United States.
But I say again, this is F1 and nothing is as simple as it appears. So when Autosport reported yesterday that Liberty Media was not alone in its pursuit of F1 was anyone really surprised? It is understood that 2 additional parties are interested. RSE Ventures, an investment firm run by NFL Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is 1. Ross is also working with Qatari consortium (I know, sounds like the type of company a Bond Villain would own). The 2nd additional party is unknown at this time.
CVC’s asking price is understood to be $8.5 Billion which would notch them a tidy $2 Billion profit from their initial $6.5 Billion investment back in 2006. Reports also indicate that CVC would be willing to sell 20% for an initial $5 Billion with an option for the remaining 15.5% at a future date. F1’s sale could mean big changes for the world’s premier motorsport. Or if you ask Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone, who owns a 5.3% of F1, thinks aside from the new ownership, things will remain status quo. Including Eccelstone’s position atop F1.
“I will do what I have always done,” Ecclestone told Auto Motor und Sport, “What role I play is my decision.”
It is unclear if there is truth behind Ecclestone’s statements or it is just another case of Bernie being Bernie.