Liberty Media Completes Formula 1 Purchase

Liberty Media said it has completed its $4.4 billion purchase of Formula 1, officially installing former 21st Century Fox vice chairman Chase Carey as chairman and CEO and racing legend Bernie Ecclestone as chairman emeritus. 

“We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of F1 and that Chase will lead this business as CEO,” Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said in a statement. “There is an enormous opportunity to grow the sport, and we have every confidence that Chase, with his abilities and experience, is the right person to achieve this. I’d like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, who becomes Chairman Emeritus, for his tremendous success in building this remarkable global sport.”

Liberty first announced the agreement to buy Formula 1 in September. The company received approval from Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (“FIA”), the governing body of the motor racing icon, earlier this month, the last regulatory hurdle in completing the deal. 

“I am excited to be taking on the additional role of CEO. F1 has huge potential with multiple untapped opportunities,” Carey said in a statement. “I have enjoyed hearing from the fans, teams, FIA, promoters and sponsors on their ideas and hopes for the sport. We will work with all of these partners to enhance the racing experience and add new dimensions to the sport and we look forward to sharing these plans overtime.”

“I would like to recognise and thank Bernie for his leadership over the decades," Carey continued. "The sport is what it is today because of him and the talented team of executives he has led, and he will always be part of the F1 family. Bernie’s role as Chairman Emeritus befits his tremendous contribution to the sport and I am grateful for his continued insight and guidance as we build F1 for long-term success and the enjoyment of all those involved.”

Liberty Media plans to rename itself the Formula One Group and will change its ticker symbol on the NASDAQ Exchange from LMC to FWON, soon after the group name change has become effective, expected later this week. F1 will remain based in London and Maffei will be Deputy Chair of the board of F1. 

“I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula 1, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with,” Ecclestone said in a statement. “I’m very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport.”