Liberty Media has bought the second tranche of F1 shares. After completion Liberty will own 35.3 percent of the shares and all voting rights. This deal costs around 4.1 billion USD, and it is expected Liberty will finance by issuing stock.
F1 currently is valued around 8 billion USD, but carries a 4 billion USD loan, which explains the difference in value for the rest of the shares.
Liberty is reported to have different ideas about F1 leadership: will they replace F1 icon Ecclestone? Sources point to Chase Carey as a possible replacement. Carey is a long time TV boss with strong links to Liberty’s owner, Topco Delta and 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch’s mass media corporation. Carey is quoted to be more a sports-, than an entertainment person, so could that make him a person that we collectively love-and-hate, just like eccentric Ecclestone?
- The percentage of team ownership could have been as high as 20%, but no team could own more then 5%.
- Teams have to hold on to their shares for 10 years.
- Only the 2 largest shareholding teams would get a seat on the board
- Voting rights stay at Liberty
In racing, 10 years is a long time, and teams would only have observers in the board. Teams would have little to no impact on the direction F1 will be taking. The lack of influence is painstakingly obvious. This deal seems geared to lessen the financial impact the take-over will have on Liberty. They would still be in full control, but pay 15% less: a financial move.