An investment group close to Fiat is considering joining News Corp in a bid to take over Formula 1.
News Corp’s bid is being handled by Exor SpA, an investment company which is the majority shareholder in the Fiat Group.
The chairman and chief executive officer of Exor is John Elkann, who has also been chairman of Fiat since April last year.
He is the grandson of Gianni Agnelli, who became the president of Fiat in 1966, and remained so for three decades before moving into an honorary role prior to his death in 2003.
Fiat purchased a controlling interest in Ferrari three years after Agnelli became chairman. Following Agnelli’s death Ferrari’s F1 car for that season was named the F2003-GA after him.
Update: Exor have issued the following joint statement with News Corp:
“Exor, one of Europe?óÔé¼Ôäós largest listed investment companies, and News Corporation, the global media group, confirm that they are in the early stages of exploring the possibility of creating a consortium with a view to formulating a long-term plan for the development of Formula 1 in the interests of the participants and the fans.
“Over the coming weeks and months, Exor and News Corporation will approach potential minority partners and key stakeholders in the sport. There can be no certainty that this will lead to an approach to Formula 1?óÔé¼Ôäós current owners.”
Update: F1 owners CVC have issued this statement in response:
“CVC can confirm that it has recently received an approach from the Exor News Corporation consortium.
“James Murdoch has informed us that the approach is friendly, at a very preliminary stage, and that they acknowledge that Formula 1 is privately owned by CVC and not currently for sale.
“CVC recognises the quality of Exor and News Corporation as potential investors,but any investment in Formula 1 will require CVC’s agreement and will need to demonstrate that it is in the interest of the sport and its stakeholders, taken as a whole.”
Image ?é?® Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo