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FIA approves Liberty Media’s F1 takeover

2017 F1 season

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The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has formally approved the takeover of F1 by Liberty Media following a special meeting today.

In a statement released today the FIA said:

“The World Motor Sport Council has unanimously approved the change of control of Delta Topco Limited (the holding company of the Formula One Group and thus the owner of the Commercial Rights of the FIA Formula One World Championship) from CVC Capital Partners in favour of Liberty Media Corporation at an extraordinary meeting today in Geneva.”

“The transaction will see the transfer of 100% of the shares in Delta Topco to Liberty Media Group, one of the tracking stocks of Liberty Media Corporation.”

“During the meeting, the representatives of the prospective new owner made a detailed presentation of their strategy. The members of the World Motor Sport Council then had the opportunity to ask questions about the specifics of the agreement, the ongoing working relationship with the FIA and Liberty’s plans for the sport.”

“Liberty, Formula One Group and the FIA intend to collaborate to create a constructive relationship that will ensure the continued success and the development of the FIA Formula One World Championship in the long term.”

“The World Motor Sport Council’s decision confirms the FIA’s belief that Liberty, as a renowned media organisation with expertise in both sport and entertainment, is clearly well positioned to ensure the continued development of its pinnacle Championship.”

The sport’s governing body acknowledged its shareholding in Delta Topco, noting it would be “dragged along in the sale process”.

“The FIA holds a one per cent shareholding in Delta Topco. As part of the sale by CVC to Liberty Media Corporation, and in line with the agreements between the FIA and the Formula One Group, the FIA will be dragged along in the sale process under the same conditions as CVC and all the other shareholders.”

“The FIA looks forward to working with the new owners of the Formula One Group on further developing the unrivalled global spectacle that is the FIA Formula One World Championship for all stakeholders.”

Liberty Media announced its plans to take over control of F1 in September last year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 23 comments on “FIA approves Liberty Media’s F1 takeover”

    1. Any idea when they are selling their stake in F1? They agreed to not own part of F1 in the early 2000’s.

    2. I would had loved to see the “detailed presentation of their strategy”.

      1. This!

        Also, interesting use of language, to be dragged along. Is this a true representation of the press release?

        1. Yes, that is the technical term used for when a minority shareholder is forced to sell because a majority shareholder sells.

          1. “Drag along” and “Tag along” clauses are common in shareholders agreements and basically prevent minority shareholders from stopping share purchases by third party.

      2. Exactly. Hope more detail will come soon. Its not rocket science. Despite all different opinions vented by many, there is quite some common ground as well. Kick off with that for the next 3 years and then amaze us with the 2 year plan thereafter

      3. Yes. I wonder if the minutes of the special meeting are available for public perusal. It might make interesting reading.

    3. Well with that done the rest should be a formality. Now the real hard work begins. Its for Bernie to go, he has undersold F1 and been a poor leader in this era. He was great but he’s finished. Hopefully now F1 finally shows/sells itself to be one of the best sports championships in the world. It should be on a par with Champions League etc. Its up to Carey to take it there. Welcome to the Piranha Club

      1. You are right about that time for Bernie to go bye bye.
        Time for a new leader to step in the modern formula one.

      2. I read somewhere that Bernie has a 3 year contract.

    4. Now hopefully GP’s like Bahrain, China, and Russia will be gone, and GP’s in Argentina, Finland and the mooted GP in New York City/New Jersey will happen…

      1. The Bahrain circuit isn’t bad.

        1. I don’t agree; but it’s not the circuit I’m against (it’s better than Abu Dhabi) but it’s the Grand Prix itself I am against. It’s surely the worst and most disgraceful Grand Prix in history- even more so than Argentina from 1977-1981 and the apartheid South Africa from 1985 and before (at least those 2 countries had amazing circuits to showcase- Bahrain is still one of the worst IMO). The Bahrain GP is a show out on purely for the elite. The Bahraini people don’t want the Grand Prix there (that is reason enough, really) the attendance figures are always spectacularly low- and the current regime shows absolutely no change in regards to how it uses violence to silence critics of the regime.

          1. *shows absolutely no direction towards change

        2. Agreed, And the racing there more often than not is actually pretty good.

          I also don’t see China going anywhere as that circuit apparently gets good attendance, Around 150,000-200,000 fans in on race day according to some articles i just read, thats as much/more than silverstone.
          it is also a circuit that again tends to produce very good races, i can think of a dozen there that have been memorable, interesting and/or exciting since its debut in f1.

          russia i’d get rid of but i’m not sure about taking f1 back to argentina if they use the circuit they last used as it’s a bit crap & the 4 races held there from 95-98 were all rather dull with the circuit not been that well liked by drivers as i recall.
          finland doesn’t have an f1 grade circuit & i don’t see the new york race ever happening.

          1. Finland will have the Kymi Ring by 2018, which won’t be F1 grade but it will be Finland’s first permanent circuit longer than 2.5 miles (that circuit will be used for MotoGP), and Argentina has lots of circuits other than the Galvez Autodrome; but that would most likely be the venue once again for a GP in Argentina. But if you know something about F1 history there have been multiple layouts of the same facility in Buenos Aires- all of which (with the exception of the exact layout used in the 1950’s) still exist. The No.15 layout used from 1974-1981 was 3.6 miles long that had 2 incredibly fast and sweeping right and left-hand corners followed by 2 straights connected by an incredibly fast loop that went around a lake- the cars were flat-out for 40 seconds in a very open space. To do something like that today would be difficult but it is possible. That configuration of that circuit still exists- and the very different configuration (No.9, I think) used from 95-98 was not only crap but unsuitable for F1- that layout was more suitable for modified production car racing. You can find videos of the 1979 Argentine GP on YouTube, which used No.15, of course.

      2. Why is there not a Finnish GP? With the drivers they’ve had and passion for Motorsport I thought it’d be a cert

    5. Apart from hopefully more web content, what else can they bring us?

      1. @emu55 More web/mobile content was been planned long before Liberty got involved. Those plans are sadly been held back by the broadcast contracts.

        I noted towards the end of 2016 that live streaming of in-car cameras was been trialled on the official f1 app for launch this year. It now seems like that may only be available in a handful of regions due to the broadcasters in many regions insisting on geo-blocking it as they own live distribution exclusivity to some of that content.
        I gather that the plan was for all in-car cameras to be made available along with live team radio & the official timing & tracking screens. How much of that will now be made available & in what regions is currently up in the air due to aforementioned contract issues.

        Beyond the live content I do believe the plan is for more video content to be included in articles, news stories & that sort of stuff on both the website & mobile platforms.

    6. I believe that the plan is to first have meetings with the teams & other interested parties to discuss Liberty’s vision going forward behind closed door’s before making them public.

      Those meetings will likely happen during the pre season test’s or over the 1st race weekends so if nothing been leaked before then i’d expect to start hearing details if not a full release of the plan going forward during/shortly after that time.

    7. Man, I can’t wait for the comments when everyone wishes Bernie would be back.

      Apart from a possible streaming model (which surely will be overpriced), this will transform F1 even more from a sport to a spectacle.

      1. We only assume Liberty Media will govern F1 in a way that will attract more fans, but yesterday there was a piece on the Vanity website that summarised what Greg Maffei, their CEO, said as “He also believes that switching the television coverage from free TV to pay would increase revenue significantly…”.
        I live in a country that hasn’t seen a Free to Air F1 race for over a decade, but looking at the list of which channel carries the F1 races in which country on this website, it seems at a very casual glance that maybe 1/3 of the world still gets F1 on Free to Air TV, so I’m guessing these are the countries which Maffei is wanting to get more money from first.
        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/f1-information/f1-faq/watch-f1-around-world/

    8. To quote one of my favourite sci-fi series. “And so it begins……”

      Words like “global spectacle” make me cringe. I really hope I’m wrong but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing someone like Danica Patrick shoehorned into a F1 car, a reality show to select the nex F1 star and people like the Kardashians being pictured at every event, guest drivers having a race on Fridays and Saturdays and the “star” drivers doing 3 short sprint races over 3 days during sporting prime time.

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