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Ecclestone: Formula 1 not for sale

Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed speculation of a potential takeover of Formula 1 by a consortium led by News Corporation.

It has been suggested the global media giant has held talks with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and a leading manufacturer - rumoured to be Ferrari - over the possibility of making a bid for F1.

Ecclestone is chief executive of the venture capital company CVC, which owns and has the commercial rights to F1.

Asked about the story by a national newspaper, he reportedly said: "It is all rubbish. Formula 1 is not for sale. And, anyway, we would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters."

However, Ecclestone has in the past sold to a media company, the Kirch Group in Germany, only for the deal to fall through. That allowed CVC to step in and acquire F1 for around £1.8 billion in 2006.

He claims any offer now would have to be "ridiculous" but the combined might of News Corporation, Mr Slim - who is the world richest man with a reported £45 billion - and Ferrari looks enough to make a bid.

Any takeover would be subject to a new Concorde Agreement being in place. That is a commercial arrangement involving the teams, CVC and governing body the FIA that binds all parties to the sport. The current deal expiring at the end of next year.

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