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Richard Bell

US media giant in £6.5bn Formula One takeover

Mass media giant Liberty Media is set to take over Formula One in a deal worth $8.5bn (£6.5bn).

The first of two payments from the US-headquartered company, which also owns Virgin Media, is due to be made tomorrow (September 6), German magazine Auto Motor und Sport has reported.

The transaction will allow for the exit of US private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which currently holds a 35% stake in the single-seat motor sport.

CVC has owned part of F1 for the last decade, selling off some of its share in 2012.

Over the years, rumours have continued to surface regarding a potential change of ownership for F1, with a number of other parties believed to have considered buying into the brand.

According to the BBC, Paris St-Germain football club owner Qatar Sports Investments and Miami Dolphins American football team owner Stephen Ross were both previously rumoured to be buying into F1.

Following the latest takeover deal, 21st Century Fox executive vice-chairman Chase Carey will become chairman of F1, according to The Financial Times.

The chief of the Mercedes team, Toto Wolf, said of the takeover: “If there is an investor that wants to buy the shares it is good news for Formula One.

“Maybe it is good news that an American media company buys Formula One.”

He added: “There are things we can learn from the American way, particularly in digital areas.”

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