CVC to sell 20pc of F1 for $2bn ahead of IPO

UPDATE #3 Businessman Peter Brabeck, celebrating his appointment as Formula One chairman on Friday, said the motor racing series had not made a decision on whether to proceed with a much discussed $10 billion listing on the stock market in Singapore.

Speaking to Reuters over a trackside lunch with Formula One commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone also in attendance, Brabeck said the business had a plan in hand to replace the octogenarian Ecclestone but hoped it would not be needed for a number of years yet.

"He has a fantastic motivation. He has very good health," said Brabeck, who is chairman of Swiss food group Nestle and was confirmed in the Formula One role at a board meeting in Monaco on Friday.

"As Bernie has said, you can't replace Frank Sinatra but you can find another singer. One day we are going to find another singer and he or she will be different. The show will go on," added Brabeck, an Austrian.

05/22/12 (GMM) Even ahead of F1's Singapore floatation, the sport has some new owners.

Reuters, the specialist financial market news agency, said US-based asset managers Waddell and Reed, Blackrock and Norway's Norges Bank have bought a $1.6 billion stake from existing owners CVC.

The report cited a source "with direct knowledge of the matter". The companies did not immediately comment.

It drops CVC's stake from 63.4 per cent to about 40pc, the source said.

We reported on Monday that the Singapore stock exchange approved F1's plan to raise as much as $3 billion in an initial public offering.

Other reports said pre-marketing for the listing, likely to go ahead at the end of June, will begin immediately.

"It is not our practice to publicly comment on our dealings with listing aspirants," said a Singapore bourse spokesman.

Some insiders have expressed concern.

"Look at the muted first-day response to Facebook's IPO," an unnamed banker told the Singapore broadsheet Straits Times. "The F1 listing is not nearly as attractive and long-awaited as that."

04/26/12 (GMM) F1's plans to float on the Singapore stock exchange are continuing to harden.

The sport's majority owner CVC has reportedly lined up several banks – including UBS, RBS, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Santander, DBS Group Holdings and CIMB – to handle the transaction.

And now media reports, including in the authoritative Financial Times, say Austrian businessman, Nestle chairman and existing F1 board member Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is being lined up to chair the parent company.

Bernie Ecclestone would remain chief executive.

It is expected that the 30 per cent, multi-billion dollar floatation could occur as early as June, with Bloomberg reporting that the application could be filed this week.

CVC and Nestle, the food giant, declined to comment.

04/10/12 (GMM) More details about formula one's planned stock market floatation have emerged.

Bloomberg, the financial news agency, said majority owner CVC is seeking $2 billion by floating "about 20 per cent" of the sport.

That would value F1 at about $10 billion.

The information was verified by "four people with knowledge of the matter", the report said.

"CVC wants to conduct the sale in Singapore as early as June, and is in discussions with investment banks about its plans, which aren't final," Bloomberg added.

The report added that Bernie Ecclestone plans to keep his 5.3 per cent stake and will remain F1's chief executive.

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