U.S. company Liberty Media has agreed to purchase Formula 1 for a total of about $4.4 billion.
An 18.7 percent stake in the F1 racing league will be held by Liberty Media immediately while the full sale of F1 could be finished as early as the first quarter of 2017.
F1’s current CEO Bernie Ecclestone will remain in his position for now, while Chase Carey, executive vice president of 21st Century Fox will be made chairman of F1. Liberty will fork over $1.1 billion in cash, 138 million Liberty Media shares and $351 million worth of exchangeable debt to F1. The company will also assume a $4.1 billion debt currently held by Formula 1.
Once the deal is finished, Liberty Media intends to change its name to the Formula One Group. F1’s current largest shareholder, CVC, will then own a 65 percent stake in the newly-named company, though CVC is giving up all of its voting shares to Formula One Group.
Liberty Media also owns the Atlanta Braves, a 53 percent stake in Sirius XM Radio, a 26 percent stake in Live Nation Entertainment and smaller stakes in Viacom, Sprint and Barnes & Noble.