Formula 1 sale is to go ahead

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Bernie Ecclestone.

AFTER literally years of speculation and rumour it has been confirmed that the American company Liberty Media will take over the Formula 1 franchise from Bernie Ecclestone and private equity investors subject to regulator approval.

Despite the fact that Formula 1 is seen to be incredibly successful, there is a debt of $4.1 billion (€3.6 billion) which will have to be accepted by Liberty Media as part of the overall purchase price.

Eighty-five-year-old Bernie Ecclestone who has been involved with the organisation for more than 40 years will remain as CEO for at least three years, subject to his health whilst a close friend of Rupert Murdoch, Chase Carey, currently vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox will take over as chairman.

Initially, Liberty Media which has interests in a number of sports and entertainment businesses will take a minority stake in Formula 1 but does expect to increase that over a period of time if allowed to do so.

Formula 1 has never really taken off in the USA which appears more interested in supporting Indy car racing, but with this new investment together with the arrival of a senior Murdoch supporter, it is probable that there will be a significant push to market the franchise in the USA which has staged one annual F1 race in Austin Texas since 2012.

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