Private equity fund CVC is putting the final touches to a $9.1bn (£6.8bn) deal that will see the American media giant take full control of Formula One . Fox media mogul Chase Carey is expected to takeover as chairman tomorrow with the sale expected to be signed on Tuesday.
Also put under microscope by the EC authorities will be a one per cent shareholding by Formula One’s governing body, the FIA. Despite agreeing with EC not to have any commercial interest in Formula One, the FIA purchased its stake in advance of the aborted float of Formula One in 2013
The FIA could also block the deal through its authority as a regulator – creating a conflict of interest between its regulatory responsibilities and commercial interests.
Meanwhile Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone refused to be drawn over his future role if the Liberty deal were to go ahead. Former team owner Eddie Jordan said it would mean the end of Ecclestone’s influence in the sport.
"I will do what I have always done. What role I play is my decision,” Ecclestone – who also owns a 5.3 per cent stake in Formula One – told German magazine Auto motor und sport.
The deal would cap a rapid turnaround in US commercial interest in the sport. After not featuring in Formula 1 during the majority of the 1980s and 1990s, Austin entered into agreement to host the US Grand Prix from 2012. In 2016 US stock-car team owner Gene Haas launched a new team, the first US-based team on the Formula 1 circuit since the early 1980s.
In advance of the Liberty deal it was reported that Carey – currently the executive vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox – was to be announced as new chairman of Formula One.