Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has been hired by CVC Capital Partners Ltd. to explore the possibility of selling its Formula One stake in an initial public offering, a person privy with the matter told Bloomberg News. Bloomberg’s source revealed that should CVC proceed to sell a part of its 63.4% stake in Formula One in an IPO, it would value the auto-racing series at more than $10 billion.
The source added that the IPO may be held in Singapore. In a phone interview with Bloomberg News, Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said he would stills serve as the auto racing series’ top honcho under CVC's plans, adding that he has no plans to sell his 5.3% stake.
Ecclestone, who has been managing sport's commercial unit since 1995, is currently holding talks with teams over terms that will expire after this year. According to Sky News, Ecclestone has offered Ferrari SpA and Red Bull GmbH's teams as much as $45 million just to continue racing with Formula One until 2020.
The Formula One chief executive said the talks would not be affected by the possible share sale, even if the IPO pushes through, noting that there was no deadline for the negotiations. He, however, declined to reveal if any of the 12 F1 teams had agreed to the new terms. The Bloomberg News report about CVC hiring Goldman Sachs was confirmed by a similar report by Sky News. Aside from CVC, another company that is exploring a possible IPO in Singapore is Manchester United Ltd., the 19-time English soccer champion, insiders said. [source: SFGate]