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CVC sells $1.6bn stake in Formula One

ESPN Staff
May 23, 2012 « Pirelli tweaks GP2 tyre rules | Glock hopes for Monaco opportunities »
Mercedes boss Nick Fry: 'F1 definitely would be much the poorer if Mercedes was not a participant' © Getty Images

Formula One's owners - private equity firm CVC Capital - has sold a 21% stake in the sport for $1.6 billion ahead of the planned $3 billion initial public offering of Formula One on the Singapore stock exchange.

A statement from the company said that three institutional investors - BlackRock, Norges Bank Investment Management and Waddell & Reed - had bought the stake but that CVC Capital continued to be the "largest and controlling stakeholder".

The deal means Formula One is worth at least $7 billion but that would be reduced if the current negotiations with Mercedes, which has yet to sign the new Concorde Agreement, do not end with an agreement.

Earlier this month Mercedes boss Nick Fry made clear that the sport needed his team to maximise its worth. "If CVC wish to float F1, I think they need this resolved fairly quickly - possibly more than we need it resolved," he said. "Discussions continue but progress is not as strong as I would like.

"F1 definitely would be much the poorer if Mercedes was not a participant and I am completely convinced in my mind that, if CVC wish to sell some or all of F1, the value they can derive from that would be severely diminished if Mercedes was not a participant."

Formula One's revenues are expected to be about £1.2bn this year, earned from fees paid by circuits to host races, TV income, and corporate hospitality.