LONDON, April 20, 2011 (AFP) - Bernie Ecclestone has rubbished reports of a potential takeover of Formula One by a consortium led by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. It had been reported that media giant News Corp held talks with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who currently sponsors the Sauber team, and a leading manufacturer, rumoured to be Ferrari, over the possibility of making a bid for F1.
But Ecclestone, the chief executive of the venture capital company CVC who own F1, claims there is no truth to the story. "It is all rubbish," Ecclestone told The Times. "Formula One is not for sale. And, anyway, we would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters." News Corp, Slim, who is reputed to be worth around £45 billion, and Ferrari would be able to use their huge combined wealth to meet any asking price set by Ecclestone, but the F1 supremo insists he has had no contact with any of them."
I know Rupert and (News Corp international boss) James Murdoch and Carlos Slim, and if they wanted to do anything they would contact me direct. And they haven't," Ecclestone told the BBC. Even if there was a bid, any takeover would be subject to a new Concorde Agreement being in place. That is a commercial arrangement involving the teams, CVC and the FIA that binds all parties to the sport, with the current deal expiring at the end of next year.