Ecclestone says a sale of F1 might not be far away

Bernie Ecclestone, CEO and President, FOM, holds a press conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday, Aug. 21.

Steven Tee

Bernie Ecclestone announced on Tuesday that a chunk of the F1 business could be sold before the end of 2015.

As reported in June, Qatari Sports Investments and US financial group RSE Ventures – headed by Stephen Ross – have indicated an interest in buying 35.5 percent of F1 from the CVC Group. However, Bernie says that three parties are in the frame.

He was speaking by telephone to a sports business forum when he was asked about interest from Qatar.

“Our shareholders at the moment are in such a position at the moment where they have to lose some of their shares, or all of them, shortly,” he said. “That’s the way things are set up for them.

“There has been a lot of interest. I would say there are three at the moment parties that … I’d be surprised if one of them doesn’t buy it shortly.”

Pressed on the likely time frame he said: “This year.”

Ecclestone has indicated in the past that CVC was under pressure to sell.

“It’s like all hedge funds,” he said in July. “They invest people’s money for a certain period. It doesn’t matter how good they do, they have to give it back. Maybe they re-invest again, maybe they don’t, I don’t know. They’re past their sell-off date. They have extended it a couple of times.”

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