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Liberty Media a step closer to F1 takeover

Press Association logoPress Association 18/01/2017 Philip Duncan

Liberty Media has been given the green light to complete a purchase of Formula One following a meeting of its shareholders.

The reported STG6.4 billion ($A10.4 billion) takeover, under which the American media organisation will become Formula One's leading shareholder, has been passed to the FIA, the sport's governing body, for final approval.

A meeting has been called by the FIA of its World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday, when Liberty's purchase will be discussed.

Liberty's takeover could be completed by March.

With the buyout, private equity firm CVC will sell its 35.5 per cent share of F1. Liberty Media already holds a 19.1 per cent stake in the business.

American Chase Carey was announced as the sport's new chairman last year, while Bernie Ecclestone - the 86-year-old who had ruled F1 for 40 years, remained as its chief executive.

Under Liberty's takeover, Formula One might undergo an enormous facelift and the sport is also hopeful of having a greater impact in the United States, a country into which it has so far struggled to break.

American businessman John Malone, Liberty Media's 75-year-old chairman, earned the nickname Darth Vader for his hardline attitude. He has built up a cable media empire within and far beyond the USA.

Liberty owns Virgin Media and also has a large share of the Discovery Communications group, which has the Discovery Channel and Eurosport in its portfolio, and baseball's Atlanta Braves.

The new Formula One season gets under way on March 26 in Melbourne.

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