CVC Sells Down Its Stake In Formula One

In March of 2012, private equity firm CVC Capital owned a 63.4 percent stake in Formula One, and rumor had it that CVC was looking to reduce its ownership in the sport.

Last month, CVC sold a $1.6 billion stake in F1 to three investment groups, and now Autosport (via Autoblog) is reporting that CVC has sold down an additional $500 million in F1 holdings to the same investors.

The net result is that CVC’s ownership in F1 has dropped from the previously referenced 63.4 percent to 42.5 percent, while Waddell &Reed, Norges Bank and BlackRock now own 20.9 percent of the sport, valued at roughly $9.1 billion.

Meanwhile, the planned IPO of F1 stock on the Singapore Stock Exchange has been shelved for the time being. F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone  blames the delay on “ongoing market unrest,” likely related to the downturn of economies in Europe and (to a lesser degree) the United States.

There’s plenty going on behind the scenes as well, including unresolved drama over Ferrari and Red Bull’s departure from the Formula One Teams Association in December of 2011, and the ever-growing cost of remaining competitive in F1.

We’re not sure what to make of all this either, but two things are certain: as long as there is F1, there will be politics, and as long as Bernie Ecclestone is captain of the ship, there will be controversy.

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