Ecclestone 'happy' with £1.75bn F1 deal
Saturday 26 November 2005
Bernie Ecclestone says that he is "very happy" with a $3bn (£1.75bn) business deal announced yesterday which could have beneficial effects on the long-term stability of Formula One.
CVC Capital Partners have acquired the 25 per cent stake in SLEC, the Formula One holding company, held by Bambino Holdings, the Ecclestone family trust, and 51 per cent of the German Bayerische Landesbank. The latter was forced into the sport when the German Kirsch media group collapsed after they had lent it $1.6bn (£930m). CVC are also negotiating for the holdings of the banks J P Morgan and Lehman Brothers.
In August, Ecclestone rejected similar offers from the private equity firm Clearbrook Capital Partners, and the Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa Group. But yesterday he said: "Bayersiche Landesbank's heart wasn't really in it. Obviously they wanted to get as much out of a deal as they could but there was always the risk that control of F1 might pass to unsavoury people. I'm glad to say that CVC are very good people." A new company, Alpha Prema, features CVC, Bambino (via a reinvestment), Ecclestone and the Formula One management team as shareholders.
CVC have made several successful acquisitions, including the Automobile Association, Halfords and Kwik-Fit, but of more relevance to motorsport fans is their rebranding of the 500 cc motorcycle world championship as MotoGP after acquiring 75 per cent of Dorna, the Spanish sports management company. Under CVC's control, MotoGP has taken off in recent years.
Formula One's future is uncertain beyond 2007 when the current Concorde Agreement expires, as only Ferrari, Red Bull and Jordan have signed up to a new one that would take effect from 1 January 2008.
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food