Bernie Ecclestone says F1 could have new owners by end of year
F1's commercial supremo says three parties interested in the sport
Last Updated: 07/10/15 11:12am
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone says he expects the sport to have new ownership by the end of the year and that three parties are currently interested.
It was reported over the summer that CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm which has owned F1 for the last 10 years, was in talks with a US-Qatari bid to sell its 35.5 per cent controlling stake, while Ecclestone confirmed he would sell his five per cent stake as part of any deal.
Ecclestone was asked about those negotiations at the Camp Beckenbauer Global Summit in Austria, and he said: "There has been a lot of interest and I would say there are three parties at the moment, where I would be surprised if one of them did not buy them (the shares) shortly."
When asked further about the kind of time-frame in which he would expect to see a new owner in F1, Ecclestone said: "This year."
Reports in June said a deal potentially worth up to £5billion was being fronted by Stephen Ross, the US property tycoon who owns the Miami Dolphins, with the backing of Qatar Sports Investments - the Middle Eastern firm which owns French football club Paris Saint-Germain.
The situation would appear to leave Ecclestone's future as the kingpin of F1 in doubt.
But Max Mosley, former president of motor sport world governing body the FIA, said in June he did not think new ownership would bring an end to Ecclestone's reign.
"I think whatever happens, if it is taken over, I don't see Bernie's role changing unless he wants it to change because he is the person who has managed to sell it everywhere," Mosley said.
"That would be my gut feeling. The fact is there is no-one else who could do the job as well."