A man with good sources says…

Mark Kleinman is a journalist who, in the past, has been shown to have a very good source within CVC Capital Partners, so when he comes up with a story about the private equity firm, one should pay close attention. Kleinman reported today on Sky that John Malone’s firm Liberty Media is close to completing a deal worth $8.5 billion to buy the shares of the Formula One group from its existing shareholders. He also says that if the complex deal goes ahead, it will result in Formula One being listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York. He does, however, say that the deal is not completed and one has to therefore ask whether the leak is designed as a hurry-up to other potential bidders, or whether it is really the most likely outcome.

The fact that Liberty Media is interested is now news, as it has been rumoured for some months. Malone took an interest in the sport about 18 months ago but no deal could be found and so he bought control of Formula E instead.

Kleinman also reports that if the deal goes ahead the role of chairman of Formula One would go to Chase Carey, a 62-year-old American, who is the executive vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox, a News Corporation company. He has long been associated with Fox, dating back to 1988 and he helped to launch such things as Fox Sports and FoxNews. A Harvard MBA, he moved from Fox to become CEO of DirecTV in 2003 before that was sold to Liberty three years later. He stayed on for three further years before going back to News Corporation in 2009 and he has been tipped in the past as a possible successor to Rupert Murdoch. He would certainly be a high-flyer, but it is not clear why he would take the F1 job, if he is looking at a brighter future…