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F1 carmakers welcome CVC takeover of F1

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, Mar 21 (Reuters) Formula One carmakers who have been threatening their own series from 2008 welcomed clearance of a planned takeover of the sport's commercial rights by private equity firm CVC today.

The European Commission approved the deal, conditional on CVC selling its Spanish subsidiary Dorna that controls the rights to the MotoGP championship.

The confirmation from Brussels had been eagerly awaited by the carmakers, who are close to a deal with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone that would prevent a damaging split in the glamour sport.

''The GPMA manufacturers and their teams welcome and support the EU clearance of the planned acquisition,'' the Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association said in a statement.

''Since CVC announced its intention to acquire SLEC, significant progress in the discussions about the commercial future of Formula One has been made.

''Today's approval was actively supported by the GPMA manufacturers and teams and they are optimistic that it will create additional momentum for the ongoing negotiations.'' Under the deal, CVC are taking a majority shareholding in the SLEC holding company that controls Formula One's commercial rights.

The five carmakers are Renault, BMW, DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes, Honda and Toyota.

They have been threatening their own series from the end of 2007, when an existing commercial agreement expires, unless they are given far more of the sport's revenues and there is greater transparency in the way Formula One is run.

However, talks with Ecclestone before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix left them close to agreeing a memorandum of understanding on the commercial issues.

REUTERS PDS PM1809

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