Bernie Ecclestone Says He Is Not Planning To Buy Back Formula One
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "has denied recent reports that he is planning to mount a takeover of Formula One and increase his 5.3% stake in the auto racing series," according to Christian Sylt for FORBES. Earlier in July Ecclestone was quoted saying "it is possible" he could buy back F1 from its largest shareholder, CVC. However, he said that "circumstances have changed since then." Ecclestone: "If it was a good deal I would do it but it’s not something I’m actively planning." He said that CVC has put a $10B price tag on F1. The 83 year-old added, "[I] wouldn’t want to pay what it is worth. Not that it is not worth it but it would be a lot of money. It’s a big thing to hang around your neck at my age." It "remains to be seen" whether F1 will sell for as much as $10B. A source close to the situation said, "CVC have multiplied their investment several times and I think the reason why a sale is not happening is that the price they are seeking to achieve is not something the market is prepared to pay at the moment" (FORBES, 7/21).
NO RUSSIA WORRIES: Meanwhile, Fox Sports' Adam Cooper wrote Ecclestone says "he has no concerns about the Russian GP in the light of" the shooting down of the Malaysia Airways flight in the Ukraine. It is "easy to speculate" that some F1 sponsors -- like Malaysia's Petronas -- might have concerns, considering that it is "closely associated" with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ecclestone: "I don't see any problems with that. Were they [Russia] in the World Cup or not? You would have thought people would have tried to stop it, wouldn’t you? Like I’ve said, we don’t get involved in politics. We have a contract with them, which we know they will respect. And we will do the same" (FOXSPORTS, 7/21).