Ecclestone steps up denial of F1 sale reports

By on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apr.20 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has stepped up his denial that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is heading a potential push to buy formula one.

Earlier, the F1 chief executive dismissed the rumours as "rubbish", despite widespread reports of Murdoch as well as Mexican telcom magnate Carlos Slim's interest.

He has now expanded his denial to insist F1 would not be sold to a media empire like News.

"We would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters," Ecclestone told The Times.

However, prior to the sale of F1's commercial rights to its current owner CVC some years ago, the sport was owned by a German media company, Kirch, which collapsed.

But Ecclestone, 80, said News' interest is moot, given that CVC is "not in the slightest bit interested in selling".

"A lot of people approach them but they are there for the long term," he told Bloomberg.

And anyway, added 80-year-old Ecclestone, Murdoch and Slim are not seriously interested, and he said their potential offer would have to be "enormous" to woo CVC.

"If they (News/Slim) were interested, for sure they would have called me and they haven't," he said.

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