>> Cable TV pioneer and prolific deal maker John Malone appears to be at it again. His Liberty Media Corp closing in on a 10 to 15% stake in Formula One racing for roughly $2 billion according to the Financial Times. And while Malone's long led the pack in savvy mergers, including this year's purchase of Time Warner Cable by his Charter Communications.
At first glance Formula One may not seem like an obvious fit. The high end racing outfit controlled by private equity firm CVC partners, hugely popular overseas but eclipsed by NASCAR here in the US. Still the sexy sports car circuit could grow stateside through TV rights and digital properties once in Malone's hands.
It also wouldn't be Liberty's first foray into sports, baseball's Atlanta Braves also part of the Malone media family. This so called cable cowboy not the only big gun involved, with the FT reporting 21st Century Fox chairman Chase Carey is likely to step into the role of Formula One chairman if the deal goes through.
As for F1's legendary long-time CEO Bernie Ecclestone, a German auto racing magazine quotes him as saying, what role I play is my decision.