Ecclestone says F1 could be sold in 2015, 3 potential buyers

Formula One commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone said Tuesday that the motorsport series could be sold this year and there are three interested buyers.

Speaking to The Associated Press, the 84-year-old Ecclestone did not identify the potential new owners but said he wants to remain in his current role, running F1 on a day-to-day basis.

F1’s largest and controlling shareholder is currently investment fund CVC Capital Partners, whose co-chairman is Donald Mackenzie.

When asked about the prospect of F1 being sold this year, Ecclestone told the AP by phone: ”I think so, maybe this year. There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone earlier this year raised the prospect of buying back F1 himself.

”We’ll see,” Ecclestone said when asked if he was one of the three interested parties.

The AP reported in June that F1 is a takeover target for Qatar Sports Investments, which has French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain in its investment portfolio and linked up with Miami Dolphins owner RSE Ventures to consider a bid.

”There has been a lot of interest,” Ecclestone said earlier Tuesday at the Camp Beckenbauer Global Summit in Austria. ”I am surprised if one of them don’t buy very shortly.”

Ecclestone told the AP he is ”very happy with the shareholders at the moment” and has no plans to retire.

”The people that I’ve spoken to, the people who are interested in buying the shares, have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone said, adding that his answer was ”Yes.”

Ecclestone has a 5.3 percent stake in F1, while CVC owns 35.5 percent after initially gaining control of the sport in 2006 for around $2 billion.

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