Murdoch, Exor considering joint bid to buy F1May 4th, 2011 - 3:13 pm ICT by ANI
London, May 4(ANI): Multi-billionaire tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s media group, News Corporation, and an Italian-based industrial holding company controlled by the Agnelli family, Exor, have said that they are planning a joint bid for a potential takeover of Formula One.
In a statement, News Corporation and Exor said they were “in the early stages of exploring the possibility of creating a consortium with a view to formulating a long-term plan for the development of Formula One”.
“Over the coming weeks and months, Exor and News Corporation will approach potential minority partners and key stakeholders in the sport. There can be no certainty that this will lead to an approach to Formula One’s current owners,” The Guardian quoted the statement, as saying.
It comes after F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone said that News Corporation would effectively be blocked from buying his racing series due to an agreement he made with the European Commission (EC).
“I’m sure the European Commission wouldn’t let it go through because our agreement with them was to keep F1 on free-to-air television,” Ecclestone had said.
Ecclestone said that the deal dates from 1999, when the EC’s competition commission investigated F1 after claims that its governing body, the FIA, and his Formula One Holdings had too much control over the racing series.
The 80-year-old also believes that F1 is worth “six to seven billion dollars, which would make it hard for News Corporation to justify the purchase knowing it would then be forced to allow its free-to-air rivals to broadcast the racing series.
“Do you think the FIA or the teams would go along with that, because all of a sudden there is no free-to-air television,” Ecclestone had said. (ANI)
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