The FIA has approved the acquisition of Formula 1 by Liberty Media following an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Geneva on Wednesday.
Liberty Media announced in September that it had agreed an $8 billion deal to purchase Delta Topco, Formula 1’s parent company, and aimed for the deal to be completed during the first quarter of 2017.
Following the approval of plans for the acquisition from Liberty shareholders on Tuesday, the FIA has now green lighted the deal, approving the sale of F1’s commercial rights as required.
“The World Motor Sport Council has unanimously approved the change of control of Delta Topco Limited (the holding company of the Formula One Group and thus the owner of the Commercial Rights of the FIA Formula One World Championship) from CVC Capital Partners in favour of Liberty Media Corporation at an extraordinary meeting today in Geneva,” a statement from the FIA reads.
“The transaction will see the transfer of 100% of the shares in Delta Topco to Liberty Media Group, one of the tracking stocks of Liberty Media Corporation.
“During the meeting, the representatives of the prospective new owner made a detailed presentation of their strategy. The members of the World Motor Sport Council then had the opportunity to ask questions about the specifics of the agreement, the ongoing working relationship with the FIA and Liberty’s plans for the sport.
“Liberty, Formula One Group and the FIA intend to collaborate to create a constructive relationship that will ensure the continued success and the development of the FIA Formula One World Championship in the long term.
“The World Motor Sport Council’s decision confirms the FIA’s belief that Liberty, as a renowned media organization with expertise in both sport and entertainment, is clearly well positioned to ensure the continued development of its pinnacle Championship.
“The FIA holds a one per cent shareholding in Delta Topco. As part of the sale by CVC to Liberty Media Corporation, and in line with the agreements between the FIA and the Formula One Group, the FIA will be dragged along in the sale process under the same conditions as CVC and all the other shareholders.
“The FIA looks forward to working with the new owners of the Formula One Group on further developing the unrivaled global spectacle that is the FIA Formula One World Championship for all stakeholders.”
Following the announcement, Liberty issued a statement of its own confirming receipt of the FIA’s approval and its intention to complete the deal by the end of the month – a much shorter timespan than most expected.
“Liberty Media Corporation announced today that it has received the requisite consents and approvals from the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (“FIA”), the governing body of Formula 1, in connection with its pending acquisition of Formula 1, and that the closing conditions related to the FIA have now been satisfied,” it reads.