×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

John Malone’s Liberty Media Buys Formula One Motor Racing for $4.4 Billion

Chase Carey named chairman of Formula One

Liberty Media has agreed to acquire global motorsports business Formula One from a consortium of sellers led by CVC Capital Partners for $4.4 billion, the companies announced Wednesday.

Liberty Media, which is controlled by chairman John Malone, will own Formula One after the completion of the transaction, expected by the first quarter of 2017. At that point, the Liberty Media Group will be renamed the Formula One Group. The consortium of sellers led by CVC will own about 65% of the Formula One Group’s equity and will have board representation at Formula One. In addition, a CVC representative will join the Liberty Media board.

The deal terms give Formula One an enterprise value of $8 billion, according to the companies.

Chase Carey, executive vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox and Rupert Murdoch’s longstanding lieutenant, will serve as the new chairman of Formula One, succeeding Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, who will remain on Formula One’s board as a non-executive director. Bernie Ecclestone, the 85-year-old Brit who has headed F1 for the past four decades, will remain CEO for the time being.

“We are excited to become part of Formula One,” Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Media, said in a statement. “We think our long-term perspective and expertise with media and sports assets will allow us to be good stewards of Formula One and benefit fans, teams and our shareholders.”

Carey, in a statement, added, “I greatly admire Formula One as a unique global sports entertainment franchise attracting hundreds of millions of fans each season from all around the world. I see great opportunity to help Formula One continue to develop and prosper for the benefit of the sport, fans, teams and investors alike.”

With the signing of the acquisition agreement, Liberty Media has already acquired an 18.7% minority stake in Formula One for $746 million in cash. The rest of the deal will be funded with $1.1 billion in cash, 138 million newly issued shares of Liberty Media stock and $351 million in debt to be issued by Formula One (and exchangeable into shares of Liberty Media). Liberty Media will assume Formula One’s $4.1 billion of existing debt and $700 million in cash.

Donald Mackenzie, co-chairman of CVC, commented: “We are delighted Chase Carey is joining Formula One as its new chairman and that he will be working alongside Bernie Ecclestone. Chase’s experience and knowledge of sport, media and entertainment is as good as it gets and we are very pleased to secure his services. Bernie has been a wonderful CEO for us over the last 10 years. There have been many successes and the occasional challenge but there has never been a dull moment and we have had a lot of fun. The combined skills of Chase and Bernie mean that the successes should continue and we wish them well.”

Liberty Media said Formula One teams will be given the opportunity to investment in the business. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals in various countries, as well as the approval of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile — the governing body of Formula One — and Liberty Media’s stockholders.

Malone’s Liberty Media also owns the Atlanta Braves, a 53% stake in SiriusXM Group, and assets pooled in the Liberty Media Group (which includes its interests in Live Nation Entertainment and Formula One, and minority equity investments in Time Warner and Viacom).

More Biz

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content