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SBD Global/September 18, 2013/Finance

F1 Owner CVC Capital Teams Up With Gulf-Based Groups On $2B Bid For IMG

The biggest investor in F1 "is teaming up with one of the biggest shareholders in the McLaren sports car group to form" a $2B offer for sports rights agency IMG, according to Mark Kleinman of SKY NEWS. CVC Capital, which owns roughly one-third of F1's parent company, "has joined forces with Mumtalakat of Bahrain to bid for IMG." Initial bids for IMG "are due within days." Under CVC's plans, it "would form a consortium in which it would hold a 60% stake in IMG, while Mumtalakat and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) -- both of which are sovereign-backed groups -- would own interests of about 20% each." The Middle East-based entities "are investors in the circuits which stage the two countries' respective Grands Prix, which have become annual fixtures on the F1 calendar." CVC's consortium "is expected to be in a powerful position in the auction of IMG." CVC "faces tough competition to secure control of IMG, which is arguably the most coveted sports rights asset to come up for sale for several years." Among others considering bids are Colony Capital, which had a £1.3B ($2.1B) "offer rejected earlier this year." Rival "talent managers such as Creative Artists Agency are also expected to bid, as may IMG partners including Reliance Industries in India" (SKY NEWS, 9/17).
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