May 19, 2013
Formula One warming up for Singapore IPO
The owners of Formula One motor racing are considering a partial flotation of the business in Asia, an option also explored by English soccer champions Manchester United, to tap demand in the region for strong sporting brands.
A flotation of Formula One (F1), which draws more than half a billion TV viewers for its races, has long been mooted, but the issue is made more urgent by the expiry this year of a confidential commercial agreement between the rights holding company and the teams whose cars compete in the 20-race series.
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which acquired majority control of F1 in 2006, would continue to be a long-term holder of the business, and the initial public offering (IPO) option being explored is for only part of the company, a source close to the matter said.
Britain's Sky News has reported that CVC has asked Goldman Sachs to examine a placement of some F1 shares with a new investor as a precursor to a formal IPO process in the southeast Asian city state of Singapore.
The source declined to comment on the Sky report, which placed a potential valuation of over 10 billion dollars on the business.
Goldman Sachs and CVC, which owns 63.4 percent of F1, also declined to comment.
A minimum 15 percent float in Singapore would make the deal worth 1.5 billion dollars.