Ecclestone is set to sell up to half of his Formula One empire for around
1.5 billion pounds ($2.41 billion), Sunday Business newspaper reported.
The paper said the deal, with a single buyer, could be signed within the
next few weeks with Ecclestone keeping the remaining half of the
Formula One Management company, which sells broadcasting rights for Grand
Ecclestone had planned a stock market flotation for his F1 empire, but no date had been set and a
$1.4 billion Eurobond issued in May to lay the groundwork for the flotation has encountered
difficulties. The European Union in June launched proceedings against the FIA world motor racing body and Ecclestone in a long-running battle over how the sport is run. The EU's competition watchdog said the rules governing the FIA and the commercial rights owned by cclestone-controlled companies violated EU competition law.
Unless rules and contracts were changed, high fines could be imposed, then acting Competition
Commissioner Karel Van Miert warned. The same ``statement of objections'' was sent also to two companies controlled by Ecclestone: Formula One Administration Ltd which sells broadcasting rights for Grand Prix races, and International Sportsworld Communicators (ISC), which markets TV rights for other motor sports. EU regulators contested the idea that FIA should own the entire TV rights to all championships.Those rights have been transferred to Ecclestone for Formula One and ISC under a long-term contract.