TV3 owner snaps up F1 racing in $4.4bn deal
Published 08/09/2016 | 02:30
Liberty Media, chaired by Irish-American businessman John Malone, has bought Formula One Motor Racing for $4.4bn.
Earlier this summer, Malone bought TV station TV3 in a deal worth up to €87m.
Liberty Media will be renamed Formula One Group after the deal is complete, which is expected by March 2017.
Liberty Media has stakes in several sports and entertainment businesses, including the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball club.
Liberty will initially purchase a minority stake in the world's leading motor-racing championship. A full takeover is planned if regulators approve the deal.
The F1 transition is due to be overseen by F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, who will retain his role as the sport enters a new era.
F1's biggest shareholder is investment fund CVC Capital Partners.
The consortium of sellers led by CVC will own about 65pc of the Formula One Group's equity and will have board representation at Formula One.
Bernie Ecclestone said: "I would like to welcome Liberty Media and Chase Carey to Formula One and I look forward to working with them."
The deal terms give Formula One an enterprise value of $8bn, according to the companies. Formula One will remain based in London.
The total transaction values the firm at $8bn but includes $4.1bn worth of Formula 1's debt.
"We are excited to become part of Formula One," Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Media, said in a statement.
"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 deal is subject to the approval of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile - the governing body of Formula One.