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Maffei: I’d want a hell lot more than $20-Billion for Formula 1

Maffei: I’d want a helluva lot more than $20-Billion for Formula 1

Maffei: I’d want a hell lot more than $20-Billion for Formula 1
Greg Maffei, the CEO of Liberty Media the commercial rights holder of Formula 1, insisted that even if they plan to sell the rights to the sport, they’d ask form much more than the rumored $20-Billion price tag.

Liberty’s top man Maffei has recently refuted rumors that the company is planning to sell F1, following reports that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) had offered the American group $20-Billion for the rights of the sport.

At the time, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem was skeptical about the reported price tag, warning it was inflated, a statement that didn’t go down well with Liberty, prompting them to send a strong-worded legal letter to F1’s governing body warning against the interference in the commercial side of the sport.

More recently, Maffei has insisted the sport is not up for sale, and even if it were, the price would be much more than the alleged $-20-Billion the PIF were offering.

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“We’re a C Corp, meaning that if we sell a division, we pay corporate level tax, and then any proceeds we would pay that get distributed to our shareholders they would, in addition, pay tax,” Maffei told the Walker Webcast.

“If we were to spin Formula 1 away, create a separate company and wait a sufficient [amount] of time, [and] have no plan or intent to sell – that asset could be sold down the road, and there would be no corporate-level tax.

“So what I [am] saying is, the way we are structured today, given that tax basis, we would not be sellers,” he maintained.

“If we wish to be sellers, or even consider it, you’d need to do a spin and, spinning it away, there are other reasons why we might do that – it’s not just to do a sale, but the way we are structured that would be very unattractive.

“And, frankly, $20-Billion would not be an attractive price. It’s trading for 17/18 [billion], so why 20? I’d want a hell of a lot more than that! We’re pretty bullish on the future,” Maffei concluded.

F1 has been on the rise lately, especially in the United States in the aftermath of the Netflix docuseries, Drive to Survive, with three grands prix planned stateside this season, in Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas.