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By Nicholas Edmondson | March 20, 2012 4:52 AM PDT

Bernie Ecclestone is thought to be considering a major commercial shake-up of Formula 1 (Reuters / Tim Chong)

A Sky News story on a possible $10bn (£6bn) Formula One IPO was pulled by BskyB's chief executive over concerns it had upset racing teams.

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The action, taken by chief executive Jeremy Darroch, has raised questions over the news channel's independence. The article revealed plans for significant changes to the racing series' commercial structure.

The story, which revealed confidential proposals that could see Ferrari acquire direct shareholding in the sport and the possibility of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) by its major stakeholder, was later put back on to the Sky News site.

Some paragraphs, which quoted directly from confidential documents, were removed from the report.

Martin Turner, executive producer of Sky Sport's new F1 channel, is understood to have contacted Darroch about the article from the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, according to the Financial Times.

A source told the FT: "It was an oversight that the article appeared without those BskyB colleagues for whom it might have caused a problem being made aware."

After a pause for thought BskyB decided to stand by the story and republish it.

This year will be a significant test for F1, with the launch of majority Sky coverage and a battle for audience attention with major events such as the Olympics and Uefa's European championships.

The Sky News article also claimed that CVC Capital Partners, F1's majority stakeholder, had hired Goldman Sachs Group to look into the possibility of an IPO, which could value the racing series at more than $10bn.

CVC took over majority control of F1 in March 2006. It is understood that F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone thought it would be better for the company to exit via an IPO rather than selling it.

Singapore is considered a frontrunner to be the listing venue, due to Asia's ever-growing F1 audience alongside a reputation as a destination for the wealthy.

Christopher Wond, a Singapore-based senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management Asia, told Bloomberg that a listing would "enhance Brand Singapore".

"Listing it in Singapore appeals to the growing popularity of the sport in this part of the world, which is driven by the growth of F1," he said.

The first F1 race was staged in Singapore in 2008, with the government covering 60 percent of the event's costs due to its ability to boost tourism.

Manchester United Ltd is also thought to be considering a Singapore IPO. A spokesmen for Singapore Exchange refused to comment on dealings "with individual entities".

The F1 brand is keen to avoid negative headlines. In 2011 the Bahrain protests saw the grand prix event postponed and later cancelled, while Sky Sports pundit Damon Hill criticised it for it failing to come out in opposition to the violence.

He told ESPN: "Formula 1 can go to Bahrain with a clear conscience and not just as a tool for some sort of cover-up."

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