CVC steps up a gear with financing deal for F1

Formula 1's Singapore IPO has been postponed. Picture: Tom Gandolfini/AFP/Getty Images
Formula 1's Singapore IPO has been postponed. Picture: Tom Gandolfini/AFP/Getty Images
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Private equity outfit CVC Capital Partners has refinanced a major loan with two lenders, including Royal Bank of Scotland, which will cut the borrowing costs of Formula 1.

The $2.5 billion (£1.6bn) of debt provided by RBS and Goldman Sachs was not close to its maturity date but CVC has refinanced it to take advantage of low yields in the global leveraged loan markets.

Since buying F1, the private equity firm has refinanced the debt on several occasions. It has returned some $3.7bn to its ­investors via dividends and through offloading about half of its stake. CVC owns 35.5 per cent and is looking to exit through an initial public offering in Singapore, although that process has stalled.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was recently charged with alleged bribery in relation to CVC’s acquisition of the motorsport business. He has denied the payment was a bribe. German courts have until the end of next month to decide whether to bring Ecclestone to trial.

CVC acquired F1 in 2006 from the family trust of Ecclestone and three banks – ­BayernLB, JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers.