Saudi fund offers to buy F1 from Liberty Media – $20 billion
According to reports, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund has made an offer to purchase F1 from Liberty Media.
According to Bloomberg, a leading financial news source, Liberty Media rejected an offer of $20 billion made in early 2022 by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund to acquire F1.
In recent years, the Middle East has seen significant growth in the sport of F1, with Saudi Arabia hosting a race on the calendar in 2020 and Qatar starting a 10-year contract this season.
Saudi Arabia has been actively involved in bidding for major sporting events and currently holds investments in a number of global sports.
Liberty Media purchased F1 in 2016 for $4.4 billion and since then, they have initiated several changes, including updating the sport’s strategies to appeal to younger audiences.
The current holder of the commercial rights of F1 obtained them in 2017 and have since overseen a period of rapid expansion.
Despite the negative impact of the pandemic, F1’s current value is estimated at $15.2 billion, more than double the value from four years ago, even taking into account the dip caused by the pandemic.
In recent years, large investments in sports events and teams have led to accusations of attempting to “sportswash,” where the Kingdom uses sports to obscure its poor human rights record.
Examples of recent acquisitions include the acquisition of the Premier League team Newcastle United, hosting high-profile boxing matches, and the establishment of a rival golf tour to the PGA, which has been a controversial move.
Recently, the leading football club of Saudi Arabia, Al Nassr, completed the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo on a large contract which includes the promotion of the country’s interests and may potentially lead to an endorsement of their bid for the 2030 World Cup.
Saudi Arabia has also expressed interest in relocating an F1 team to the Kingdom, with McLaren being one of the targets, following the partnership established between Saudi Arabia and the McLaren’s Formula E and Extreme E teams.
According to Bloomberg, Liberty Media is not interested in selling F1, but Saudi Arabia remains an interested party should Liberty Media change their position.
Saudi fund offers to buy F1 from Liberty Media – $20 billion Saudi fund offers to buy F1 from Liberty Media – $20 billion
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