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CVC reacts to Mosley comments

NEWS STORY
02/08/2008

Following comments made by Max Mosley, whereby the FIA President suggested that CVC Capital Partners is looking to sell its stake in F1 and that Bernie Ecclestone, at 78, is approaching the end of his reign, both parties have issued a joint statement.

"We have no plans to sell our stake in Formula One," CVC's statement reads. "We see our investment as long term and we are pleased with its performance to date.

"The Formula One Group continues to be led by Bernie Ecclestone. There are no plans to replace him and we are delighted with the results of the business under his management.

"The Formula One Group has an agreement in place for 2008-2012, which governs the division of income generated by the sport, by way of a prize fund."

Mosley, who, following his victory in the High court last week quickly re-established contact with the media, claimed that CVC was looking to get out, telling Gazzetta Dello Sport and a number of other newspapers: "If a sovereign wealth fund came along with a huge amount of money, then CVC would be tempted, but I suspect it would be getting to the stage where Bernie is replaced. If someone wanted to buy it, the whole business depends on a man who is 78 years old."

The comment, used in an article by Kevin Eason for The Times - sister paper to the News of the World, which exposed Mosley's penchant for S&M in the first place, was seen as clear pot-shot at Ecclestone, the man who has shaped F1 into what it is today, and, until the News of the World story broke, a close friend and ally of the FIA President.

Some might say that Mosley's comments suggest he still has his own idea as to who helped the News of the World set up its sting.

At present, Mosley, CVC, Ecclestone and the teams - which this week formed their own alliance - are supposed to be working towards a new Concorde Agreement, but it appears that Mosley and Ecclestone have different ideas as to how things will develop.

"I would never give up (the veto)," Mosley warned earlier this week, "because you might find someone who was a complete disaster coming in, but we could soften it if the company has less say over what happens at a Grand Prix.

"Eventually I think we'll agree a compromise with CVC where they abandon a lot of the control they have over the sporting side of the event. In return we will give them much greater freedom to sell the business to whomever they want. At the moment it is not a problem with Bernie there."

Curiouser and curiouser.

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