Bernie Ecclestone has admitted it is possible F1 owner CVC will sell the sport. The Financial Times and Reuters are reporting that a company headed by American football club Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, and backed by Qatar’s sports investment arm, is preparing to launch a $8 billion takeover bid.
“My shares will be sold together with theirs,” F1 supremo Ecclestone confirmed. Amid all the talk about F1’s dwindling popularity, CVC chief Donald Mackenzie attended the recent Austrian grand prix, and Ecclestone says he has also been approached by “three or four” potential bidders for the rights.
“I have no idea whether any of these people have got closer with this, but CVC are in the business of buying and selling companies,” Ecclestone told the London newspaper The Times. “They are very happy with F1 and Donald is not an enthusiastic seller, but their business is selling and everything has a price,” he added.
The Financial Times clarified that a formal bid is yet to be launched, but it appears the plans would not involve ousting Ecclestone altogether. “They (the bidders) believe he brings a lot to the sport and they can help expand it into the US and Chinese markets,” a person close to the matter said.