Bloomberg News

Ferrari Renews Formula One Terms With CVC Before Possible IPO

March 24, 2012

Ferrari SpA, Red Bull GmbH and McLaren Group Ltd. agreed to stay in Formula One after this season, strengthening the hand of owner CVC Capital Partners Ltd. as it considers selling shares in the auto racing series.

Most of the 12 teams have agreed to remain after this season, when existing terms expire, series Chief Executive Officer Bernie Ecclestone told website Formula1.com. He didn’t give details of terms or identify other teams.

CVC hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore a possible sale of part of its 63.4 percent stake with Singapore as a possible venue for an initial public offering that values the series at more than $10 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Ecclestone, 81, said in a March 20 interview he will remain as CEO under the plans.

Ferrari, the oldest existing team, defending champion Red Bull and eight-time champion McLaren were the top-ranked teams last season. According to a March 19 report by Sky News, CVC had offered Ferrari and Red Bull as much as $45 million to sign up through 2020, and the Italian luxury carmaker may also get a stake in the business.

The agreement was announced by Ecclestone today as teams are competing at the Malaysian Grand Prix, the second event of this year’s 20-race championship.

Under existing terms, teams share 50 percent of the sport’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. The series has annual sales of 1.17 billion euros ($1.55 billion) and employs 200 people, according to the CVC website.

CVC, based in London, bought Formula One in a leveraged buyout in 2005 and 2006, using $2.5 billion of loans.

Other shareholders include the administrators of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., who hold 15.3 percent, and Ecclestone’s former wife, Slavica, who owns 8.5 percent through Bambino Holdings Ltd. Ecclestone has a 5.3 percent stake.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at aduff4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net


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