Exclusive: CVC say they are under no pressure to sell F1

Sat Jul 4, 2015 4:47pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - Formula One's commercial rights holders CVC Capital Partners are under no pressure to sell their controlling stake in the sport and want to keep it, co-chairman Donald Mackenzie told Reuters on Saturday.

He would not comment on reports that RSE Ventures, the investment vehicle of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, was teaming up with Qatar to buy CVC's stake in a potential $7 billion-$8 billion deal..

Asked at the British Grand Prix whether the private equity fund had a deadline by which they had to sell their 35.5 percent stake, the media-shy businessman replied: "No, we don't. There is no end date.

"We have 12 year funds, which we have to return the original money. We have already done that. So the pressure's off," added Mackenzie.

"We like owning it (Formula One), we don't want to sell it. There are always some people who'd like to buy it, it's a very good business."

CVC has twice tried to float Formula One, most recently in 2013, but the plans stalled and the fund instead sold stakes to U.S. investment groups BlackRock and Waddell & Reed, along with Norway's Norges Bank.

It sold down its holding from 63 percent in 2012 in deals that at the time gave the business an enterprise value, which includes debt and equity, of $9.1 billion.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that a deal with Ross and the Qataris could be done within six weeks.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany (C) leads the pack after overtaking his team mate Lewis Hamilton of Britain (R) at the start of the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg, Austria, June 21, 2015.   REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh