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Sports

Formula One takeover approved by governing body

Liberty Media's bid to own motor racing's most glittering series has cleared another hurdle. But the takeover still needs approval from anti-trust regulators as Bernie Ecclestone clings on.

Liberty Media's Formula One takeover has been unanimously approved by the sport's governing body.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement issued on Tuesday that its World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) had agreed to the change of commercial rights holder.

"Liberty, Formula One Group and the FIA intend to collaborate to create a constructive relationship that will ensure the continued success and the development of the FIA Formula One World Championship in the long term," it said.

US firm Liberty Media bought an initial 18.7 percent stake from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and is due to complete a cash and shares deal soon.

The takeover still needs the approval of European Union anti-trust regulators and has been valued at $8 billion (7.5 billio euros).

Liberty has said it will retain F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone but the 86-year-old's iron grip on the sport appears to be close to ending. 

"The World Motor Sport Council's decision confirms the FIA's belief that Liberty, as a renowned media organisation with expertise in both sport and entertainment, is clearly well positioned to ensure the continued development of its pinnacle  championship," the FIA statement continued.

mlm/pfd (Reuters, AFP)

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