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EM.TV revs up to buy stake in Formula One

Deal estimated at $750 million to $900 million

BERLIN — German entertainment heavyweight EM.TV looks likely to take a 50% stake in Formula One Administration (FOA), the marketing outfit of the popular motor racing event.

Although press reports of a possible takeover last month were denied by Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung is now reporting that a deal is about to be announced.

EM.TV is reportedly paying between DM1.5 billion and DM1.8 billion ($750 million and $900 million) for the 12.5% share in FOA held by Deutsche Bank subsidiary Morgan Grenfell Private Equity in addition to a 37.5% stake from U.S. investment firm Hellman & Friedmann. FOA will likely be floated within a year, company sources told the paper.

Formula One racing is one of Germany’s most lucrative TV sport events, regularly garnering top ratings.

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