F1 criticizes FIA president’s comments as “unacceptable”
In a letter to the FIA, Formula 1 has expressed its disappointment with the statements made by its president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, about the worth of the sport.
Ben Sulayem, the FIA president, stated that the FIA will be careful about the supposed high valuation of $20 billion that is being attributed to F1 following news that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund had made a rejected offer to F1’s owners Liberty Media, with that offer valuing the sport at $20 billion.
A letter from American media company representatives, which has been obtained by the BBC and Sky, reminded the FIA that F1 had a 100-year agreement for the commercial rights of the series and the governing body “has given a clear commitment that it will not do anything to harm the ownership, management and/or utilization of those rights.”
The letter expressed that Ben Sulayem’s comments “interfere with those rights in an unacceptable manner” and also emphasized that the assumption “that any potential buyer of the F1 business is required to consult with the FIA is incorrect.”
The letter further warned that “any person or organization commenting on the value of a listed entity or its subsidiaries, particularly asserting or suggesting they have insider knowledge while doing so, risks causing significant harm to the shareholders and investors of that entity, and may also face potential severe regulatory repercussions.”
The letter also stated that “to the extent that these comments decrease the value of Liberty Media Corporation, the FIA may be held accountable.”
The letter was sent by Sacha Woodward Hill, F1’s general council and longstanding legal advisor, and Renee Wilm, Liberty Media’s chief legal officer.
Ben Sulayem said yesterday that, as the guardians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organization, is careful about the supposed high valuation of $20 billion that is being attributed to F1.
“As the stewards of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organization, is wary of the supposed inflated valuation of $20 billion being placed on F1.”
“Any prospective purchaser should use good judgement, take into account the overall well-being of the sport, and present a clear, feasible plan – not just a large sum of money.”
“It is our responsibility to evaluate the future effects on promoters in terms of elevated hosting fees and other commercial expenses, and any negative effects it may have on fans.”
F1 criticizes FIA president’s F1 criticizes FIA president’s
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