Report: Liberty and Discovery in talks to buy 49% F1 stake

Liberty Global and Discovery Communications are reportedly in talks with CVC Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers Holdings about buying a 49% stake in Formula One.

According to a Bloomberg report, which cites people with knowledge of the matter, talks are ongoing, though the two camps are roughly US$500 million (€370 million) at odds in terms of valuation.

The report said that Liberty and Discovery are seeking a US$4 billion deal, valuing Formula One at US$8 billion, however, CVC and Lehmen are reportedly seeking some US$4.5 billion for the stake.

CVC, which owns 35.5% of F1 compared to Liberty’s 15.3%, is also considering a Formula One IPO for F1, according to Bloomberg.

The news comes in the same month that Discovery completed its US$1.2 billion deal to acquire a majority stake in international sport broadcaster Eurosport from TF1. Discovery originally announced its move for 20% Eurosport in late 2012 and in January of this year said it would accelerate a plan to take a 51% stake in the business.

In May of this year, Liberty Global and Discovery Communications also agreed to buy UK-based TV programme maker and distributer All3Media for £550 million (€673 million). The buyers formed a 50-50 joint venture to acquire All3, which is known for shows such as Skins, Midsomer Murders, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and The Only Way is Essex.

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