Liberty Global, Discovery in talks regarding F1 stake -report

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 12, 2014 10:04 PM

(Reuters) - John Malone's Liberty Global Plc and Discovery Communications Inc are in discussions with the owners of Formula One to bridge a $1 billion gap in the valuation of the motor-racing series as they seek to buy a 49 percent stake, according to Bloomberg.

CVC Capital Partners, a London-based private equity firm, and Lehman Brothers Holdings want about $500 million more for the stake, the report said, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Discussions with CVC Capital Partners Ltd and Lehman Brothers are ongoing although a deal may not be reached, the report added.

CVC remains the largest shareholder in Formula One with a stake of around 35 percent.

CVC may also contemplate an initial public offering of Formula One, according to Bloomberg, although the sources added that it is unlikely to occur before the conclusion of a trial involving Chief Executive Officer Bernie Ecclestone.

Discovery Communications and Liberty Global were not immediately available for comment. CVC Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers were also unavailable for comment.

(Reporting by Narottam Medhora and Tanvi Mehta in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)