F1 owner turned down $20bn buyout bid

Mon, 23 January 2023, 07:00

Jan.23 (GMM) Liberty Media, Formula 1’s current commercial rights holder, turned down an offer to sell the sport for an impressive profit.

Citing sources, Bloomberg reports that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund looked at a potential $20 billion takeover, but Liberty Media “was not interested in selling”.

Saudi officials and US-based Liberty Media did not comment, but Saudi Arabia appears determined to keep adding to its impressive portfolio including a premier league football team and potentially the WWE wrestling.

Liberty Media bought Formula 1 with a $4.6 billion deal that settled in 2017, but tracking stock currently values the sport at well over $15 billion.

Saudi Arabia has a long-term deal to keep hosting a grand prix in Jeddah, although work on a more permanent venue in Qiddiya is underway.

Race boss Martin Whitaker confirmed reports that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could even become Formula 1’s season-opening host from 2024.

“Ultimately any decision on the timings of the race next year is in the hands of Formula 1 and the FIA,” he said.

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