Liberty Media nears deal for 10-15 pct stake in Formula One: FT

(Reuters) — Liberty Media Corp is nearing a deal to buy a significant stake in the Formula One racing car series, with a deal expected within the next two weeks, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said Liberty Media, whose chairman is U.S. cable mogul John Malone, was expected to buy a 10 to 15 percent stake in F1’s parent company, at a cost of between 1 billion to 2 billion pounds. Media reports have previously said a deal for F1 is expected to value the company at more than $8.5 billion.

The Financial Times also said that Chase Carey, the executive vice chairman of 21st Century Fox, would become the chairman of F1.

Formula One’s biggest shareholders are private equity firm CVC Capital Partners with a 35.5 percent stake and U.S. fund manager Waddell & Reed with 20.9 percent. Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone holds 5.3 percent of Formula One and his Bambino Trust has a further 8.5 percent.

F1 was not immediately available for comment.

Separately, Reuters reported on Sunday that Ecclestone was likely to remain at the helm of F1 for a considerable period .