Liberty Media Gets F.I.A. Approval To Complete F1 Purchase

Photo by Sutton Images

Photo by Sutton Images

Following many rumors which might have been possible whether or not Liberty Media could take a major stake in the world of formula one racing, the governing body, the F.I.A., approved the sale in a meeting at the World Motor Sport Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

This was the last formal and important stage for the opportunity to grab the most popular motor sports series by having shareholders approve of the idea the day before, in a shareholder’s meeting.

In a press release made by the WMSC, it stated that: “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 favor 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 organization with expertise in both sport and entertainment, is clearly well positioned to ensure the continued development of its pinnacle Championship.”

Considering that the deal was approved in December by antitrust authorities, the media has questioned the F.I.A. in their purchase of Delta Topco, which carries at one percent. But this could be a conflict of interest by the F.I.A. themselves, now that the deal has been approved. However, under the F.I.A. statement, it explains that the sale will continue under the same conditions.

“The FIA holds a one percent shareholding in Delta Topco,” the statement added. “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.”

With this approval, Liberty Media announced that it will complete the full sale by the end of this first quarter.

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