Forget Facebook, this is the IPO to be interested in. Formula One’s Singapore IPO is due to go ahead in mid-June as CVC Capital Partners (the private equity investor which owns 63.4% of Formula One) looks to sell some of its stakeholding.
What’s an IPO, I hear you ask? It’s an ‘initial public offering’ of the shares in company, usually as a way for the company to boost its profile and raise cash for investment.
Several banks also involved heavily in the sponsorship of races, teams and F1 generally have been mandated to coordinate and ‘bookrun’ (underwrite the sale of the shares) for the upcoming IPO. They include the McLaren and Ferrari sponsor, Santander, as well as the sponsor of the Shanghai grand prix, UBS.
According to the financial press, the company is valued at around $10 billion, with around 20% of the shares due to be up for sale as part of the IPO. The decision to list in Singapore follows on from the huge popularity of F1 in Asia, although if my fraught experience of finding somewhere in Hong Kong to watch the Bahrain grand prix is anything to go by, the interest in F1 isn’t as stellar as you’d expect.
Williams F1 offered its shares to the public in March last year, and after a low point around the summer break, the share price has climbed fairly steadily from €12.10 to €21.50 today.
Seems like now might be the time for F1 fans to start investing not just viewing time but money in Formula One (might also recoup back the cost of the now seemingly obligatory Sky subscription).