The FIA, the governing body of the Formula One World Championship, says that it has not been a party to the negotiations surrounding the sale of the Formula One group to Liberty Media and says that it is awaiting “further information regarding the proposed terms of the transaction and welcomes the opportunity to discuss with all parties the possible consequences of this agreement”.
“While it remains to be seen how this acquisition will influence the promotion of the FIA Formula 1 championship, we welcome this long-term investment in Formula One by a company that has such a broad portfolio of sports, media and entertainment businesses,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “As motor sport’s governing body and regulator we acknowledge Liberty Media’s wide expertise in these fields and we look forward to working in close partnership with them in the future in order to further develop Formula 1 and bring it to new generations of motor sport enthusiasts around the world.”
The FIA is the owner of one percent of the shares of Delta Topco. The value of this share in cash terms is $40 million. The FIA will probably be forced to accept the terms of the sale as it agreed to certain tag along/drag along terms when it did the deal to buy the shares, which were believed to have come from Bernie Ecclestone. This will mean that the federation will have to accept loan notes which can be translated into Liberty Media shares at a later date and can then be sold once the lockup period is over. The share deal was part of a 2013 deal with the Formula One group over how much the federation should be paid to sanction the World Championship. The deal runs for the period 2013-2020 with agreement to renew it on substantially the same terms until 2030 after which they agreed to negotiate in good faith for a further deal, which meant that neither party would try to start their own series.