US-Qatar planning Formula 1 takeover
Something is cooking in Formula 1. CVC Capital Ventures the majority shareholders of F1 may be trying to divest off their shares, if BBC reports are to be believed.
And surprisingly the prospective investors are a consortium comprising RSE Ventures of America and Qatar Sports Investments. RSE Ventures is owned by property tycoon Stephen Ross and owns football team Miami Dolphins. Qatar Sports Investments is a Sovereign fund of Qatar and owns the Paris St- Germain football club.
The deal, which is not finalised yet, could be anywhere between 7 and 8 billion dollars. There are other bidders also who are prospecting acquisition of the Formula 1 shares.
At present there is an F1 Grand Prix held at Austin, Texas and no races are held at Qatar. Infact it is said that when Bahrain signed in to host the first race in middle east, it had a clause that there can be only two races in Middle East. So apart from Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, there cannot be a third race in Qatar.
Qatar, with the FIFA football worldcup in its bag, albeit controversially, is looking at increasing its sports footprint and hence bringing in more tourist revenue, as well as investments.
America is the home of automobile majors, although these automobile companies have declined, the demand for automobiles continues as well as the demand for motorsports.
Nascar is popular in America and despite the sole F1 race at Austin, Formula 1 hasn't caught the imagination of the american public. American ownership of Formula One management may kick start the love for Formula 1 in USA.
It also may be a good opportunity for CVC to exit Formula One as the viewership has been declining. Bernie Ecclestone is also not growing younger any longer and the shrewd businessman that he is, it is not wonder that he may be looking at exiting F1 by enchasing his 5% shares and any other additional bonus that he wants.
The final word on this hasn't been heard yet.