Posted on November 20, 2012


The importance of the United States market to Formula 1 was a topic of constant discussion during the inaugural Austin Grand Prix weekend and there were several outreach initiatives during the weekend, including a FOTA Fans Forum and a business symposium to take F1 into the Texan and wider US business community. The Motor Sport Business Forum, which over the past eight years has established itself as the leading event for discussion and networking on the major issues around the world of motorsport business, hosted the inaugural Texas Business Symposium at the University of Texas. Over 200 delegates, both from More…

Posted on October 13, 2012


The problems of Sahara Force India boss Vijay Mallya seem to be mounting up at the moment. This weekend he was hit with a non-bailable arrest warrant in Hyderabad, India for non payments, due to bounced cheques for use of the city’s airport, relating to his failing airline Kingfisher. While debts in his drinks business could force him to sell a controlling interest to one of his biggest rivals. The airline, once the second largest in India, has net debts of $1.7 billion and its sales have fallen 87% from a year ago to $222m. According to The Economist, the More…

Posted on September 22, 2012


[Updated] CVC Capital Partners, which holds 35% of the business that owns Formula 1′s commercial rights, has taken on a couple of new high powered investors in the shape of government backed funds from Singapore and Kuwait in recent months, according to reports. At the same time the sale of CVC’s stock which reduced its holding from 63% to around 35% and netted the firm $2.1 billion earlier this year, has also given them the luxury of being able to bide their time on a floatation of the F1 business. A floatation here on the Singapore Stock Exchange was prepared More…

Posted on June 27, 2012


Gerhard Gribkowsky, the banker from Bayern LB who was once chairman of the F1 holding board, has been convicted of corruption and sentenced to eight and a half years in jail. According to Reuters this evening, “Presiding judge Peter Noll convicted BayernLB’s former chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky of tax evasion, bribery and breach of fiduciary trust in a court in Munich. “Noll described the billionaire (Bernie) Ecclestone as the “driving force” behind the payments but said Gribkowsky, in turn, had shown “high criminal energy” ” Prosecutor Christophe Rodler had summed up his case by saying that Ecclestone was “not More…

Posted on June 21, 2012


The banker at the centre of a corruption trial in Germany over the sale of F1 to CVC Capital Partners in 2005, has told the court for the first time that the charge that he took bribes relating to the sale is “essentially true”. Gerhard Gribkowsky was the senior figure at Bayern LB at the time it held a stake in F1, having been left with it when its client the Kirsch Group went bust. After some legal wrangles with F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone, the bank was keen to dispose of the stake and it was Gribkowsky’s job as More…

Posted on June 17, 2012


CVC, the private equity firm that has owned the Formula 1 business since 2006, has sold a further stake to investors, reducing its stake in the sport down to 35%, from the 63% it originally held. It takes the total received this year by the company from this round of share sales to $2.1 billion. The deals are based on the enterprise valuation of the F1 business at $9.1 billion. City sources suggest that if and when CVC makes its exit from the F1 business at this valuation, it would be one of the most successful private equity investments ever. More…

Posted on June 12, 2012


Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has issued an call for F1 teams, the FIA and the governing body to come together urgently to resolve the issue of costs in the sport. With Europe teetering on the verge of a major financial crisis as the Euro is threatened by the Spanish debt situation, Montezemolo argues that the sport can no longer talk around the subject, but must put a plan in place. The failure to agree an extended Resource Restriction Agreement was the reason why FOTA fell apart last Christmas when Ferrari and Red Bull withdrew taking Toro Rosso and Sauber More…

Posted on May 25, 2012


The board of Formula 1 met today in Monaco, with some of the teams represented and a new chairman, Nestle’s Peter Brabeck-Lemathe, at the helm. He is the chairman of Nestle and sits on the boards of other leading European businesses. Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo was here in Monaco and met with Bernie Ecclestone and Mercedes’ Ross Brawn at length this afternoon. Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari are all promised seats on the new look board, however the teams will not be able to acquire shares until the proposed flotation on the Singapore exchange takes place. There has been More…

Posted on March 9, 2012


There are some interesting things going on behind the scenes in F1 at the moment which could have a significant bearing on the ownership of the sport in the future. It has been revealed that 15% of the shares in F1′s holding company will soon come up for sale. At the same time the media regulator in the UK has said that it is ramping up its probe into whether NewsCorp and James Murdoch pass the “fit and proper person” test for controlling BSKYB, which now has the UK F1 TV rights. Mr Murdoch is still chairman of BSKYB. According More…

Posted on November 9, 2011


Behind the scenes in F1 at the moment there is movement everywhere as things start to click into gear in a process which will ultimately lead to a change of ownership of the sport and a new way of operating it. Today and tomorrow in Munich, Formula 1′s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone will give evidence in the fraud trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky, a former banker and chairman of F1′s holding company. Clearing up this matter and getting to the bottom of what happened when CVC bought the sport from Gribkwosky’s bank Bayern LB, is crucial to the hopes of CVC, More…

Posted on September 5, 2011


There is a story at large today that Donald Mackenzie, the guiding light behind CVC Investment Partners, has become chairman of Delta Topco, the company which owns the commercial rights to Formula 1. This in effect makes him the Chairman of F1. The detail behind it is that nothing has actually changed, as Mackenzie was already the acting chairman, which was looking to place a top business name in the role. Sir Stuart Rose, formerly chairman and chief executive of Marks and Spencer, was tapped up about taking the job, but is believed to have declined unless the role meant More…

Posted on April 6, 2011


Turnover for F1′s commercial activities exceeded $1 billion last year, according to annual figures released by Formula One Administration, which represents a $19 million increase on the previous year. The teams’ share increased by $114 million to $658 million. Although this equates to an average of $54 million for each of the 12 teams in F1 last season, it doesn’t work out that way as the money is not split evenly. It is paid out according to several columns laid out in the Concorde Agreement, whereby prizemoney share goes with success; the champion team receives more than lower placed teams, More…

Posted on December 8, 2009


The world of motorsport is gathering this week in Monaco for a series of meetings culminating in the World Motor Sport Council on Friday and the gala World Championship presentations on Friday night. There are a number of items on the agenda at key meetings for F1 teams and stakeholders this week, the first with Jean Todt as president of the FIA. The F1 commission is meeting for the first time in four years and although it is unlikely to agree any significant new measures for next year, because teams would have to agree unanimously, it looks like there could More…



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