Discovery, Liberty Global Buy Stake in Formula E Racing Circuit

Argentina Formula E - H 2015
AP Images

Argentina Formula E - H 2015

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.

Twitter: @georgszalai