Powerful backer to join F1 buyout consortium - report

By on Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 12 (GMM) A consortium planning to bid for ownership of formula one has reportedly gained a powerful backer.

News Corp and the Fiat shareholder Exor had already confirmed they are considering making an offer to buy the multi-billion dollar commercial rights from CVC.

It was rumoured that others are considering joining the consortium, such as the major F1 teams whose shareholders are preparing to meet with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp in Stuttgart this weekend.

And the partly News-owned Sky News now reports that Raine Group is set to invest in the F1 buyout consortium.

Raine is a New York-based boutique merchant banking firm with $500 million to spend on media, sports and entertainment acquisitions, the Financial Times reported last month.

FT also reported that among Raine's big financiers are former Google chief Eric Schmidt and former Facebook president Sean Parker, whilst heading the fund is former Goldman Sachs partner Joe Ravitch.

News Corp and Raine did not comment, but FIA president Jean Todt pointed out in Turkey last weekend that he has the power to veto any proposed buyout.

"It's strange I must say for someone to want to buy something when it is not for sale," said the Frenchman.

Bernie Ecclestone agreed: "Somebody might say that they want to do it, but that doesn't mean the owner wants to sell. And CVC have made it very clear that they don't want to sell."

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