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John Malone is reportedly in discussions to acquire a stake in Formula One either through Liberty Media Corp. or Liberty Global, and a deal could involve Chase Carey becoming chairman of the parent of the motor-racing firm.
Sky News, owned by Sky plc, where Carey is a board member, reported the negotiations on Thursday.
Carey, who is also a board member at 21st Century Fox, could replace Nestle chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe as chairman of F1 while 85-year-old CEO Bernie Ecclestone would remain F1’s chief executive.
According to published reports, Liberty Media and Liberty Global, both controlled by Malone, are each in talks with CVC Capital Partners, which is F1’s controlling shareholder,
Liberty Global is partnering with Discovery Communications in its quest to gain a stake in F1, an entity valued at roughly $8.5 billion, but Liberty Media is said to be further along in its negotiations with F1.
Liberty Media has reclassified into three tracking stocks, one for housing the Atlanta Braves baseball team, one for its majority stake in Sirius XM Radio and another for its minority stakes in Time Warner, Viacom and other media companies.
If Liberty Media obtained a portion of F1 it could be absorbed into one of the three tracking stocks, and Liberty Media could even be renamed to reflect its position in F1, according to Sky News.
Liberty Media declined a request for comment.
Sky News also reported that Silver Lake, the private equity firm that partially owns the WME-IMG talent agency, was also considering an investment in F1, “although its recent takeover of the Ultimate Fighting Championship franchise may have dampened its appetite to pursue an imminent deal.”
Others allegedly interested in purchasing stakes in F1 include iPhone and iPad maker Apple as well as the Qatar-based company that owns the Paris Saint-Germain football team. Also, Sky plc could be interested in investing.
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