F1 delivers windfall to investors
Plans for the $1B dividend are "understood to be being discussed with potential investors in New York later on Thursday, with F1's owners confident of attracting robust demand." The payout will be the "biggest to F1's shareholders for two years, and will augment their already handsome returns on their investment" in the sport. It will also "underline the ability of F1 to continue throwing off cash even as uncertainty remains over the sport's future leadership."
Crucially, the "new debt package will not include any change-of-control clause, making it theoretically easier for F1's parent company to be sold without triggering onerous repayment obligations." The deal, which is being arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will "also highlight the continued buoyancy of international financing markets." Analysts suggested that the $1B dividend plan "signaled that a fresh attempt to float F1 on the stock market was some way off." Paradoxically, the structure of the deal could "hasten a takeover of F1, with Liberty Global and Discovery Communications interested in acquiring a 49% stake in the sport." SKY NEWS