Liberty Media set to acquire Formula One for $8 billion
NASDAQ-listed mass media giant Liberty Media Corporation is set to buy auto racing group Formula One for an enterprise value of $8 billion. The company said that it would immediately gain a minority stake of 18.7 percent in the Formula One Group. The remaining stake will be acquired upon closure of the deal, which is expected in early 2017.
Liberty Media Corporation is of the biggest mass media companies in the world, headquartered in Colorado, United States. The company was spun off from Telecommunications Inc in 1991, and is currently led by John C. Malone, who serves as the Chairman. The mass media giant has garnered over $11 billion in revenues, and raised profits of over $1.3 billion.
Formula One Group
The Formula One Group is a group of companies that drives the promotion of the Formula One World Championship, an auto racing championship. The group also owns the commercial rights to the sport. It is owned by a Jersey-based company called Delta Topco, with investors such as CVC Capital, Waddell Reed and LBI Group. It is presently led by Bernie Ecclestone.
Specifics: Liberty Media-Formula One deal
The mass media company will acquire Formula One for an equity value of $4.4 billion, the company's statement added. It will be paying $1.1 billion in cash, along with another 138 million shares of the media company. Post the deal, Liberty Media said it would change its name to Formula One Group, with its current CEO Bernie Ecclestone leading the merged company.
Merged company to see shift in senior management
"Chase Carey has been appointed by Delta Topco and will serve as the new Chairman of Formula One, succeeding Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, who will remain on Formula One's board as a non-executive director," the company said in its statement.
What does the deal mean for the auto racing company?
The acquisition of the racing company by American cable giant could prompt the rise of a different era for the sport, which was till now predominant across Europe. The deal would help it seek fresher markets like the United States. The acquisition could also trigger an earlier exit for the formula racing boss, Bernie Ecclestone, who has been running the sport for 40 years.