Liberty Media is the new owner of the Formula 1. The deal will be separated into two parts. Liberty Media acquired Formula One for $4.4 billion, the American group will immediately hold the 18.7 percentage in Formula 1 and at the early of 2017 the deal will be completed and the company will receive the rest stakes.
Liberty Media Corporation is a group of companies which invest in media, communications, and entertainment businesses. The company splits into three parts, the first one is the Liberty Braves Group, the second one is the Liberty Media Group and the final one is the Liberty SiriusXM Group. These groups invest in different types of businesses.
Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball club is also owned by Liberty Media, also the company has stakes in many other sports, and now Formula 1 will be one of them.
The American company is owned by John Malone. Chase Carey, who is the executive vice president of 21st Century Fox, will be the new chairman of Formula 1, whilst Bernie Ecclestone will remain in his position for the next three years.
Formula 1, current CEO, Bernie Ecclestone said: “I would like to welcome Liberty Media and Chase Carey to Formula One and I look forward to working with them.”
The total cost of the deal is about $8bn. Liberty Media will pay the current debt of F1 which is about $4 billion, also the group will pay $1.1 billion in cash, 138 million Liberty Media shares and $351 million worth of an exchangeable debt.
The president and chief executive officer of Liberty Media, Greg Maffei, said: “We think our long-term perspective and expertise with media and sports assets will allow us to be good stewards of Formula One and benefit fans, teams and our shareholders. We are excited to become part of Formula One.”
Liberty Media intends to change the name of the Formula One, once the deal is completed. “After completion of the acquisition Liberty Media will own Formula One and it will be attributed to the Liberty Media Group which will be renamed the Formula One Group.” Maffei said.
The American group wants to improve the image of the sport and to attract new fans, mainly in the USA. Also, their aim is to take advantage of new marketing opportunities which will be created through promotion, digital rights, and social media.
“I greatly admire Formula One as a unique global sports entertainment franchise attracting hundreds of millions of fans each season from all around the world. I see great opportunity to help Formula One continue to develop and prosper for the benefit of the sport, fans, teams and investors alike.” Carey said.
It will be interesting to see what will happen, once the deal is approved by the European regulators. What can Liberty Media change in Formula 1 in order to improve the current situation and also how they intend to attract new fans.
It’s a historical moment for the motorsport, which will hopefully be beneficial for the Formula 1 and motorsport fans.
Victor Archakis @FP_Passion