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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.


From Belfast Telegraph