Formula One to be sold to Liberty Media next week: Report

Belgium Formula One - F1 - Belgian Grand Prix 2016 - Francorchamps, Belgium - 28/8/16 - Mercedes' Nico Rosberg of Germany leads the race ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Belgian F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Yves Herman

MONZA, Itally (Reuters) – A sale of Formula One to Liberty Media is to go ahead next week, the sport’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone told German trade magazine auto motor und sport on the sidelines of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Saturday.

Liberty Media Corporation (commonly referred to as Liberty Media or just Liberty) is an American mass media company controlled by Chairman John C. Malone, who owns a majority of the voting shares.

The magazine said that according to Ecclestone, Liberty Media will transfer the first of two tranches of payment in the $8.5 billion deal on Tuesday.

Recent media reports had said that British broadcaster Sky as well as a consortium of Liberty Media’s sister company Liberty Global and Discovery Communications were also circling Formula One.

Fiat Chrysler’s Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne earlier said the industry as a whole had a vested interest in stability for Formula One.

“I’ve had this conversation with CVC in the past, I’ve had it with Bernie … I think it’s important that we provide stability and a long-term view. I’m sure that will happen soon,” he said.

Auto motor und sport said Ecclestone left it unclear what role he would play once a deal had gone through. It quoted him as saying: “I will do what I have always done. What role I play is my decision.”

Formula One’s biggest shareholders are private equity firm CVC Capital Partners [CVC.UL] with a 35.5 percent stake and U.S. fund manager Waddell & Reed with 20.9 percent. Ecclestone holds 5.3 percent of Formula One and his Bambino Trust has another 8.5 percent.

CVC and Liberty Media declined to comment on the auto motor und sport report. Waddell & Reed was not immediately available for comment.

Liberty Media began in 1991 as a spin-off of TCI, an American cable-television group. Peter Barton, hired by TCI’s Malone, served as president until retiring in April 1997 to start an investment firm and spend time with his family.

The company took over TCI assets considered to have little value, but Barton completed “a deal every ten days for six years” and made the company a big success. Liberty was merged back into TCI in the mid-1990s.

On March 13, 1998, Liberty Media Group and TCI Group announced the merger of Encore and STARZ! into a single company – Encore Media Group, owned by Liberty. Encore was taking advantage of the growth of digital cable, while TCI, which had previously owned twenty percent of Encore, was more interested in traditional cable.

Liberty Media’s Discovery Channel and QVC continued to do well, but the company’s newer projects had problems, and the company’s stock price dropped by half.

Malone no longer had the “Malone halo” he once did. If AT&T agreed to spin off Liberty Media, new deals such as a possible News Corp. purchase of DirecTV would be easier because AT&T would no longer require federal approval to complete such deals.

Also in 2001, Liberty Media acquired the remainder of Liberty Digital and Liberty Satellite & Technology (formerly TCI Satellite). Both companies were independent spinoffs of TCI, though Liberty already owned 90% of both companies after the exchange for Sprint PCS stock. Being independent increased their asset values, but the stock prices of both dropped, negating any benefits.

Liberty Media subsequently spent $5 billion on nine German regional cable networks. Apart from television distribution it holds major interests in other groups. For example, it was the largest shareholder in News Corporation (though the founding Murdoch family owns more voting shares), and had a 4% stake in Time Warner.

Related Posts
International team captain, Nick Price listens to a reporter's question at a news conference during the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, October 6, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
International captain Nick Price predicted a wonderful week of entertaining golf for fans at the Presidents Cup on Tuesday, but after a decade of demoralizing defeats he would surely settle ...
READ MORE
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Andy Murray of Britain, during the men's singles semifinal match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Friday July 10, 2015. (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)
London - Roger Federer does not lose Wimbledon semi-finals and he produced a display of clinical majesty to down Andy Murray and maintain his bid for a record eighth title ...
READ MORE
15-member Sevens rugby squad announced
HARARE - The Zimbabwe Sevens rugby team technical department has named a 15-men provisional squad that will be part of a Cheetahs training camp to be held in South Africa. 15 ...
READ MORE
Expect quality Nations Cup final, says Grant
BATA, Equatorial Guinea, – Ghana coach Avram Grant predicted a quality African Nations Cup final on Sunday when his side take on neighbours Ivory Coast in one of the continent’s ...
READ MORE
Hamilton ready to sign on the dotted line
LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is ready to sign a new contract that, according to media reports, could net him more than $40 million a year. "It ...
READ MORE
Masterful Messi’s late double sinks Arsenal
LONDON (Reuters) - Barcelona's Lionel Messi broke free from Arsenal's shackles to score two late goals and put the Champions League holders on the brink of the quarter-finals with a ...
READ MORE
Van Gaal riled by Allardyce’s long-ball barb
LONDON (Reuters) - Riled Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal waved a sheaf of statistics at reporters on Tuesday to refute suggestions that his direct tactics were turning the team ...
READ MORE
Barcelona sign centre back Umtiti on five-year deal
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona have signed centre back Samuel Umtiti from Olympique Lyon for 25 million euros (£21 million), the La Liga winners said on Tuesday. The 22-year-old, who has signed ...
READ MORE
Usain Bolt – the man who saved a sport
For a couple of seconds on 15 August, I feared for the future of athletics. Convicted dope cheat Justin Gatlin, having started better than Usain Bolt in the 100 metres ...
READ MORE
Roberta Vinci of Italy (left) shakes hands with Serena Williams of the USA after their match on day twelve of the 2015 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Septermber 11, 2015.  Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK (Reuters) - On high alert after a day of upsets during which Serena Williams was sent packing from the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer made sure ...
READ MORE
Golf legend Nick Price eyes more competitive Presidents
Federer dismantles Murray and stormes into record Wimbledon
15-member Sevens rugby squad announced
Expect quality Nations Cup final, says Grant
Hamilton ready to sign on the dotted line
Masterful Messi’s late double sinks Arsenal
Van Gaal riled by Allardyce’s long-ball barb
Barcelona sign centre back Umtiti on five-year deal
Usain Bolt – the man who saved a
Williams upset has Djokovic, Federer on high alert

Arts & Entertainment

gonyeti
Arts & Entertainment

Gonyeti claims Jah Prayzah sexually abused her, seeks compensation

27th September 2016 Staff Reporter 0

The fallout between popular musician Jah Prayzah and former 3rd Generation dancer, Pamela ‘Gonyeti’ Zulu took a dramatic twist last week. Gonyeti aka Pamela Zulu Gonyeti, who left Jah Prayzah in August and her lawyers […]

diddy
Arts & Entertainment

P Diddy donates $1million to his alma mater to help struggling students

23rd September 2016 Staff Reporter 0

After amassing a huge fortune, hip hop star P Diddy is giving back. The 46-year-old star has set up the Sean Combs Scholarship Fund gifting $1m (£765k) to Howard University. Presenting the Washington institute’s president […]