NEW YORK, May 3, 2011 (AFP) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Italy's Exor, a holding company which owns a share of Ferrari owner Fiat, said Tuesday they were considering forming a consortium to make a joint bid for Formula One.
F1 "supremo" Bernie Ecclestone
In a statement, News Corp. and Exor said they were "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 One."
"Over the coming weeks and months, Exor and News Corporation will approach potential minority partners and key stakeholders in the sport," they said. "There can be no certainty that this will lead to an approach to Formula
One's current owners," they cautioned.
Exor owns 30 percent of Italian car maker Fiat, the parent company of Ferrari. British billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, chief executive of the venture capital company CVC which own F1, rubbished reports two weeks ago of a potential takeover of F1 by a consortium involving News Corp.
"It is all rubbish," Ecclestone told The Times. "Formula One is not for sale. And, anyway, we would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters."
News Corp.'s vast holdings include newspapers in Australia, Britain and the United States, the 20th Century Fox movie studio, the Fox television networks, the social network Myspace and book publisher HarperCollins.
News Corp. is also poised to win control of BSkyB with a £7.5 billion ($12.2 billion) bid for the shares in the British broadcaster it does not already own.