Rupert Murdoch Exploring Formula One Takeover Options With Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim
LONDON - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is in early stage talks to acquire Formula One Motor Racing, contemplating a joint bid for the sport with backing from by Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim, according to reports.
The deal could give the premier global motor sports event a much bigger foothold in pay TV, where it has not previously had a great presence.
News Corp. - which is currently in the process of bidding for BSkyB in a deal that could value the British satcaster at over $12 billion - is thought still to be at an "embryonic" stage in looking at Formula One, according to a report on Sky News.
The News Corp.-owned station said that News Corp. has been in talks for several weeks with F1 sponsors, according to a report from Sky News business editor Mark Kleinman.
But the report went on to say that F1 owners CVC Capital Partners have not yet been formally approached.
Under a possible deal structure, News Corp. could look at taking control of media Formula ONE sports rights without an all out acquisition
"News Corp.'s exploration of ways in which it could be a part-owner of F1 while exploiting its worldwide appeal reflects the company's interests in accessing the one global sports franchise that has so far eluded it," Sky News said.
A News Corp. spokeswoman told THR:”we never comment on speculation.”