Discovery, Liberty Global Buy Stake in Formula E Racing Circuit
The two companies previously jointly acquired U.K. TV production company All3Media.
Discovery Communications and John Malone's international cable operator Liberty Global on Monday unveiled a deal to take a stake in the company behind the Formula E electric racing circuit after previously looking at a deal for Formula One.
Financial details weren't disclosed, and spokespeople declined to share specifics. But sources familiar with the situation said the combined investment was approximately $55 million (50 million euros) for a one-third stake in the company behind the circuit.
Malone is also a big shareholder in Discovery, which has been acquiring smaller sports rights, especially in Europe where it acquired pan-European sports network Eurosport in the past. The two companies previously jointly acquired U.K. TV production company All3Media.
Last year, the circuit unveiled an investment from private equity firms worth $68.5 million.
"The arrival of these two global media companies represents an important step in the long-term development of the series and confirms its potential on the motorsport scene," Formula E said.
CEO Alejandro Agag said: “The experience and know-how they bring will provide a significant boost to Formula E. We look forward to creating new opportunities together to develop and promote premium content for a global audience.”
Niall Curran, president of Liberty Global's media investments group, said: “Like Formula E, our business is closely connected to sustainability, speed and entertainment, so this is a great match."
“We are very pleased to join Formula E’s ownership group. With unmatched global distribution, our Velocity, Turbo and Eurosport brands, and 30 years of experience as a global media company, Discovery’s unique expertise will help develop this new and unique motor sport,” said Bruce Campbell, Discovery Communications chief development and digital officer and general counsel.
The second season of Formula E races will be held from Sept. 2015 to June 2016. The calendar will be expanded from 10 cities.