CVC Capital Partners, Formula 1's majority shareholder, is allegedly in talks to sell a stake in the sport to an investor group led by Qatar and RSE Ventures, the holding company which owns the Miami Dolphins American football team.
According to a story published by the Financial Times on Tuesday, the deal currently under negotiation may be worth £5 billion for a stake evaluated at 35.5% of F1, and would include FOM's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone's personal 5% stake in the company.
RSE Ventures is a sports and entertainment company which was co-founded in 2012 by American businessmen Stephen Ross and Matt Higgins. Qatar has initiated several high profile investments in the sports arena in past years, notably buying French soccer club Paris St Germain, while also winning the now contested 2022 World Cup bid scheduled to take place in the resources-rich Gulf State. The country is also rumored to be seeking a date on the F1 calendar alongside Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
Talks with CVC are still in the early stages however, with a formal offer not expected to be submitted for several weeks and upon completion of the necessary due diligence work. Should the deal materialize, RSE is reportedly keen on retaining the services of F1's current supremo, believing that the 84-year-old Ecclestone could still prove instrumental in managing and expanding Grand Prix racing globally.
While CVC has controlled F1 for nearly 10 years, it has over time sold minority interests in the sport to various investors. Rumors of an outright sale have frequently surfaced in the past, the last takeover bid coming last year when media tycoon John Malone's Liberty Global and Discovery Communications showed apparent interest in buying the sport.
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