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F1 to float shares in Singapore

2012-05-22 13:24

SINGAPORE, Malaysia - Formula 1 has been given the go-ahead for a $2.5-billion share sale in Singapore, a source close to the deal has said, but analysts said conditions may not be ideal after Facebook fell flat.

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which has a majority stake in the glitzy motor sport's holding company, will gauge interest among investors and fund managers with a view to selling part of its stake at the end of June.

NIGHT RACE

The source said the Singapore Exchange had approved a listing by F1, as has been rumoured over the previous two months.

A spokesman for the exchange, citing standard policy, said: "It is not our practice to publicly comment on our dealings with listing aspirants."

Singapore hosts a popular F1 night race, one of 20 stops on the F1 tour, and has a strong fan base for the sport. The 2012 Singapore GP is scheduled for September 23.

An F1 IPO would likely translate into a profit for CVC Capital Partners. It has owned 63.4% of F1's business since it bought a majority stake in the racing company for $2.5-billion in 2006 but this would be the biggest initial public offering so far in 2012 in Singapore, which also approved a float by Manchester United football club in September, 2011.

DEBT CRISIS

However the English Premier League club, which has a huge Asian following, is said to be seeking better market conditions.

Some companies are looking at Asia's cash-rich markets to raise funds as Europe grapples with a debt crisis and the US economy wobbles.

News of the F1 offering, which could raise as much as $3-billion, follows Friday's float of Facebook on Wall Street which valued the web giant at $104-billion but saw its shares plunge 25% off the initial price.

AFP