Bernie Ecclestone

Sharp Curve Ahead for Formula One

ecclestone AFP
Bernie Ecclestone.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Formula One racing is in turmoil and potential new owners will have to figure out how to keep it competitive and profitable. CEO Bernie Ecclestone said controlling shareholder CVC will soon sell its stake.

  • Facts


    • British-born Bernie Ecclestone has dominated Formula One for four decades.
    • CVC holds a 35.5 percent controlling stake in Formula One’s marketing rights.
    • The race car industry is worth $8 billion.
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Racing supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he expects a controlling stake in the Formula One racing group to be sold by March 2016.

In an exclusive Handelsblatt interview, Mr. Ecclestone, the still sprightly 85-year-old chief executive of the Formula One Group, said that the company’s main investor, CVC, will decide whether or not to sell by the next racing season. CVC currently controls the global billion-dollar racing business and holds a 35.5 percent controlling stake in Formula One’s marketing rights.

“I think they will make up their mind in the next few months,” Mr. Ecclestone said in the interview. “I hope before the start of the 2016 championship in March, we’ll have decided if we sell – or not.”

Mr. Ecclestone said there were several parties interested in the $8 billion car-racing business, but added: “There are probably only four people who could buy it. Only they have the amount of money.”

Formula One is a high stakes, glamor business that has run into a spate of problems in recent years. Mr. Ecclestone presides over a complex web of partnerships and deals, but many critics say the system is too unwieldy and needs restructuring.

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