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For the past few months F1 commentators have talked about the possibility of the Abu Dhabi wealth fund Mubadala (which, until recently, owned a stake in Ferrari) buying the sport. This talk has now accelerated due to Mubadala's involvement with the Raine investment bank which has been promoted by Sky News as being connected to News Corp's phantom bid for F1.
Despite all the talk, no one bothered to get the truth about Mubadala from F1's boss Bernie Ecclestone, until now.
Speaking to Pitpass' business editor Chris Sylt, Ecclestone confirmed that F1's majority owner, private equity firm CVC has been approached by Mubadala but he added that "CVC haven't bothered to reply to them."
It is real evidence of how little attention CVC is giving to potential bidders contrary to some media reports which are consistently appearing to talk them up.
Raine is still apparently "poised to" join News Corp and the Exor investment fund which have not yet even got a fledgling bid for F1 off the ground and have already been told by CVC that the sport is not for sale.
Ecclestone recently told News Corp's Sunday Times that "I'd have to be sure the people (who end up owning F1) are people I would like to work with and whether they would want to work with me." However, that paper forgot to ask a pretty crucial question: who would Ecclestone like to work with? Sylt took it up and Ecclestone told him that he "would have no problem" if CVC sold to another private equity firm.
CVC sold Dorna, the rightsholder to the MotoGP world championship, to rival private equity firm Bridgepoint so perhaps a similar deal could be in F1's distant future.
One thing that seems certain however, is that News Corp won't be in the driving seat.
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