Big business players line-up to buy CVC F1 shares

Formula 1 up for sale again?

Formula 1 up for sale again?

Formula 1 teams may not just be competing for trophies and sponsors, according to a report by Auto Motor und Sport, as speculation mounts that the sport’s largest shareholder, CVC, might be looking to sell its commercial rights holding.

The latest reports are that four separate groups are currently interested, after “a fifth in the Middle East has dropped out”, correspondent Michael Schmidt reports.

“One of the interested parties,” he wrote, “is a consortium led by Red Bull. This is in competition with Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, of Tommy Hilfiger, who apparently has Ferrari on board.”

Last month, Ecclestone played down that latest talk, telling Formula 1 business journalist Christian Sylt: “Everybody talks. A deal has definitely not been done.”

But the reports have not stopped. US cable billionaire John Malone has also been linked with Formula 1, and according to Schmidt he is “perhaps the most likely candidate” due to the “marketing opportunities”.

“Number four in the game,” said Schmidt, “is a group that apparently includes Lotus owner Gerard Lopez.” (GMM)