Connor Wraps Prep For FIBA World Cup Hangin' With ... Fiona De Jong Aston Villa Hires Tom Fox As CEO Top Three Partners To Take Stake In BVB Crystal Palace Sports Director Resigns Schalke Founds Management Academy Berlin Estimates Olympics Bid To Cost $66M Soler Stays On As Head Of IMG Tennis Bremen Considers Strategic Partnerships Executive Transactions
SBD Global/June 16, 2014/FinancePrint All
A "controversial" billionaire is in the running to buy a significant stake in F1, according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. John Malone, the biggest individual landowner in the U.S., has launched a $4B bid "for almost half the F1 business through his Liberty Global company, along with Discovery Communications." Negotiations "are said to be at the earliest stages" with the bid falling $1B short of the share valuation put on F1 by CVC Capital Partners, the City-based private equity group and the sport’s controlling shareholder. One of America's "most powerful" media entrepeneurs, Malone "clearly sees F1 as a potential addition to his stable of cable television outlets" (LONDON TIMES, 6/13). BLOOMBERG's Sherman, Campbell & Duff reported talks with CVC Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. continued "and a deal may not be reached." CVC owns about 35.5% of F1 and bankrupt Lehman owns 15.3%. The acquisition "would give Liberty Global and Discovery sports content to go along with their other European cable-TV assets." Discovery "boosted its stake" in Eurosport Int'l, a European sports media group, to 51% earlier this year. The two companies together "bought U.K.-based TV company All3Media last month." Despite the valuation gap, "the sides have made progress toward a deal in recent weeks." Representatives for CVC and Liberty Global, controlled by Malone, "declined to comment." Spokespeople for Lehman and Discovery "also declined to comment" (BLOOMBERG, 6/13).