4 May 2011

News Corp looking to take over F1

8:51 am on 4 May 2011

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and an Italian invesment firm linked to Ferrari are working on a possible bid to take control of Formula 1.

A joint statement says Exor and News Corp will approach minority partners and key stakeholders in the sport.

F1 is owned by the private equity firm CVC Partners.

Last month Bernie Ecclestone, who runs F1 on behalf of CVC, said reports that News Corporation was in talks with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who sponsors the Sauber team, to buy F1 were "rubbish".

And today the 80-year-old Bernie Ecclestone questioned the likelihood of a News Corp bid succeeding.

Any takeover would involve changes to the Concorde Agreement, a commercial arrangement involving the racing teams, CVC and the sport's governing body, the FIA.

This agreement says that the sport should be shown on free-to-air television where possible.

However, the current agreement runs out at the end of 2012, and the signatories are in the process of negotiating a new one.