Liberty Media raises $1.55 billion for F1 purchase from new U.S. partners

BY Adam Cooper • December 14, 2016

Liberty Media has concluded a deal with seven U.S. hedge fund and investment management companies in relation to its purchase of the F1 business.

Liberty says that it has it has “entered into agreements with certain third party investors to commit $1.55 billion in subscriptions for newly issued shares of its Series C Liberty Media common stock at a price of $25.00 per share.”

The company adds that “the proceeds from this $1.55 billion investment will be used to increase the cash portion of the aggregate consideration payable to the consortium of selling Formula One shareholders led by CVC Capital Partners.”

The third parties named by Liberty are Coatue Management LLC, the DE Shaw Group, JANA Partners LLC, Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc, Soroban Capital Partners LP, SPO Advisory Corp., and Viking Global Investors LP.

Several of these companies are essentially hedge funds, so their inclusion in the deal may come as a surprise to F1 insiders who were keen to see the scaling down of CVC’s involvement and the entry of a company with a sports and media background. However, Liberty’s bosses are adamant that this development is a positive.

“We are excited that this impressive list of investors will participate in the acquisition of Formula One,” said Liberty President and CEO, Greg Maffei. “This group shares our enthusiasm for the sport and our belief in the opportunity to develop and grow it for the benefit of the fans, teams, sponsors and our shareholders. We look forward to closing the transaction in early 2017.”

F1 chairman Chase Carey said: “This is a significant step in Liberty Media's transformative acquisition of Formula One and is further confirmation that the future of the sport is bright.”

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