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DATE News (chronologically)
05/05/11
f1
Top F1 Teams To Hold German Summit  UPDATE
Eddie Jordan
News Corp and their Formula One bid partner Exor will need to find £7bn if they are to buy F1, former team owner Eddie Jordan has claimed.

Speaking on Jeff Randall Live, Mr. Jordan said the sport had grown beyond his wildest dreams in Asia, and that it would command a hefty price if it is sold, as expected, some time in the next 12 months.

The approach from News Corp and the Italian investment firm Exor is "friendly" and at a "very preliminary stage" according to F1 owners CVC, who have not officially put the sport up for sale.

Sky's Mark Kleinman revealed that despite this, the approach is to be considered by Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull Racing in secret talks later this month.

Mr. Jordan said it was "complimentary to the sport" that News Corp head Rupert Murdoch had shown his interest.

But he added: "Let's be clear, Formula One is fuelled by money."

Mr. Murdoch, whose News Corp has a 39% stake in Sky News owner BSkyB, and is trying to buy the remaining shares, would need to prove he can deliver guaranteed income and longevity, said Mr. Jordan, a BBC F1 commentator.

"Sky has got to put on the table where they think they can match the equivalent of the BBC," he claimed.

"And at this moment in time it's hard to see where that is." Sky Sports

05/05/11 I have learned that a quartet of Formula One’s leading teams will convene in Germany later this month for secret talks about the future of the sport.

I’m told that executives from Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull Racing will meet in Stuttgart during the next ten days to hold discussions about the sport’s ownership, forthcoming negotiations about a new commercial rights agreement as well as a range of technical sporting issues.

The timing of the summit involving the four leading teams is interesting, coming as it will just days after News Corporation, the global media group (and owner of a big stake in Sky News' parent, BSkyB), and Exor SpA, the Italian investment firm that indirectly owns a stake in Ferrari, confirmed that they are looking to assemble a bid for F1.

I understand that at this point the meeting (which is apparently scheduled for May 14) is not due to include the other members of the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), although it’s possible that that could change between now and then. FOTA’s executive committee, which is chaired by Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren team principal, met in Sepang last month during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that the Stuttgart meeting amounts to a clandestine attempt by the four teams to devise any kind of breakaway from F1.

Instead, as I understand it, the talks are aimed at debating various issues relating to F1’s commercial future, including the potential Exor-News Corp interest. They will also discuss, I’m told, the ongoing bribery investigation in Germany which I’ve been reporting on for several months and which has seen a banker involved in F1’s sale in 2005 detained on suspicions that he accepted a $50m bribe. More at Sky Sports

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