Liberty Media Corporation to purchase Formula One
Liberty Media Corporation and CVC Capital Partners have announced that Liberty Media has agreed to acquire Formula One, the iconic global motorsports business, from a consortium of sellers led by CVC. Liberty Media owns interests in a broad range of media, communications and entertainment businesses.
The consideration comprises cash and newly issued shares in the Liberty Media Group tracking stock (LMCK) and a debt instrument exchangeable into shares of LMCK. The transaction price represents an enterprise value for Formula One of $8.0 billion and an equity value of $4.4 billion.
The acquisition will be effected by Liberty Media acquiring 100 per cent of the shares of Delta Topco, the parent company of Formula One (herein referred to as “Formula One”). The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.
In order to buy the racing series, Liberty Media has completed the acquisition of an 18.7 per cent minority stake in Formula One for $746 million, funded entirely in cash (which is equal to $821 million in consideration less a $75 million discount to be repaid by Liberty Media to selling stockholders upon completion of the acquisition). Prior to completion, CVC Funds will continue to be the controlling shareholder of Formula One.
After completion of the acquisition, Liberty Media will own Formula One and it will be attributed to the Liberty Media Group which will be renamed the Formula One Group. The consortium of sellers led by CVC will own approximately 65 per cent of the Formula One Group’s equity and will have board representation at Formula One to support Liberty Media in continuing to develop the full potential of the sport. In addition, a CVC representative will be joining the Liberty Media Board of Directors.
Chase Carey has been appointed by Delta Topco and will serve as the new Chairman of Formula One, succeeding Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, who will remain on Formula One’s board as a non-executive director. Bernie Ecclestone will remain Formula One’s CEO.
Greg Maffei, President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Media, said: “We are excited to become part of Formula One. We think our long-term perspective and expertise with media and sports assets will allow us to be good stewards of Formula One and benefit fans, teams and our shareholders. We look forward to working closely with Chase Carey and Bernie Ecclestone to support the next phase of growth for this hugely popular global sport.”
In the acquisition the selling stockholders will receive a mix of consideration comprising: $1.1 billion in cash, 138 million newly issued shares of LMCK and a $351 million exchangeable debt instrument to be issued by Formula One and exchangeable into shares of LMCK. Funding for the cash component of the acquisition is expected to come from cash on hand at the Liberty Media Group. The newly issued LMCK shares will be subject to market co-ordination and lock-up agreements.
The Teams will be given the opportunity to participate in the investment in Formula One, and the detailed terms of that investment will be agreed in due course. Certain teams have already expressed an interest in investing after completion of the acquisition.
The interest in Formula One already acquired by Liberty Media, and the remaining interest to be acquired upon the closing of the acquisition, along with $4.1 billion of existing Formula One debt (which will be non-recourse to Liberty Media) and $0.7 billion in Formula One cash, is being attributed to the Liberty Media Group tracking stock.
Upon completion of the acquisition, the Liberty Media Group will be renamed the Formula One Group. Formula One will remain based in London. The sale is subject to closing conditions.