F1 owners set deadline for flotation pitch

City A.M. Reporter
CVC Capital Partners has set a Friday deadline for banks hoping to play a role in Formula One’s Singapore IPO, sources said yesterday, in a sign that the process for the roughly $1.5bn IPO is formally under way, with plans for a July listing.

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said last month that he had recommended Singapore as the best place to float the motor racing business, seeking to tap Asian enthusiasm for famous sporting brands.

While a public listing of the world famous motor racing series has long been expected, with news of the Singapore venue breaking last month, the precise timing of the deal remained unclear. Sources with direct knowledge of the matter said a Friday deadline was set for banks to submit formal proposals to the company, CVC and its advisers.

Top investment banks will be pushing hard to play a role in underwriting the deal, not only for the fees involved but for the prestige of being part of such a high profile offering.

A final decision on the investment banking mandates will be made on or around 24 April, one of the sources said, with the aim of listing in July.

CVC, which owns 63.4 per cent of F1, is looking to list part of the business in Singapore, but would continue to hold shares of Formula One.

An Asia-based listing would help the company tap the region’s interest in international sporting brands.

Reports put a $10bn value on the business, with Goldman Sachs chosen as the main adviser on the deal. A minimum 15 per cent float would make the deal worth $1.5bn. Formula One has yet to apply to the Singapore Exchange for its listing plans.