Sky and Liberty compete with Qatari investors for Formula 1 deal

 
Sarah Spickernell
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CVC purchased its stake in 2006 (Source: Getty)
Two new companies have joined the race to buy CVC's 35.5 per cent stake in Formula 1 (F1).
Broadcaster Sky and telecommunications firm Liberty are said to have held informal discussions with the private equity firm, which is selling off its part of the motor-racing franchise for an estimated £4.5bn.
The news comes only a few days after it was revealed that RSE Ventures and Qatar Sports Investments are making a joint offer. The bidding process is being overseen by Goldman Sachs, according to The Sunday Times.
Although CVC not the only major shareholder in the sport, its shares are highly sought after because of the special voting rights linked to them.
Sky and Liberty will see the sale as an opportunity to have more control over premium motor-racing content. Both broadcasting companies view F1 as an important part of the sports coverage they offer.
In the case of Sky, four years ago it struck a deal with F1 to broadcast live every race, qualifying session and practising session. It also has a channel dedicated to the sport.
Another potential bidder, according to those close to the sale, is Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian businessman who helped build Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.
CVC, whose interests in F1 are looked after by Bernie Ecclestone, has been F1’s biggest shareholder for about a decade. Over the last four years it has invested heavily in the sport by buying sponsorship and advertising packages.

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