CVC’s Formula One Said to Add Banks for Singapore IPO

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Formula One
Fernando Alonso drives a McLaren Mercedes MP4 - 22 during free practice at the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photographer: Russ Batchlor/Fotosports via Bloomberg News

April 25 (Bloomberg) -- CVC Capital Partners Ltd. added Morgan Stanley and UBS AG to help with the initial public offering of Formula One, which could raise as much as $3 billion in Singapore, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The two banks join Goldman Sachs Group Inc., hired earlier for the stock sale, as lead managers for the IPO, said the people, who declined to be identified because the process is private. DBS Group Holdings Ltd., CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Banco Santander SA have also been retained to help manage the IPO, the people said.

Formula One’s IPO may occur as early as in June, said one of the people. An application for the IPO may be submitted as early as this week, the person said. At $3 billion, the IPO would be the biggest in the world since Spain’s Bankia SA raised $4.4 billion in July. Drawing on Formula One’s growing popularity in Asia, a Singapore listing may also help the cachet of the city’s stock exchange, which is vying with Hong Kong’s bourse to attract companies from across the world.

A CVC representative in London didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment yesterday.

Formula One Chief Executive Officer Bernie Ecclestone has no plans to sell his 5.3 percent stake in the offering and will keep his position under CVC’s plans, he said last month. F1 Group, the sport’s commercial rights holder, may post $657 million of pretax profit on sales of $2.3 billion next year, according to London-based industry monitor Formula Money. It had $1.6 billion of revenue in 2010.

United IPO

Singapore last year gave the British soccer team Manchester United Ltd. permission to do an IPO of about $1 billion. That sale, scuttled amid stock market volatility in late 2011, may be revived, people familiar with the deal said in March.

By listing in Singapore, where a Formula One race has been held since 2008, the auto-racing series would take advantage of its growing popularity in Asia. This year, pop star Katy Perry, rock band Maroon 5 and Taiwanese singer Jay Chou will perform in the city-state during the three-day race.

Formula One also holds Grand Prix races in China, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, India and Australia. The Bahrain Grand Prix, held on April 22 amid protests calling for the race to be canceled, saw two-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel winning to move atop the drivers’ standings. Bahrain’s mostly Shiite political opposition had stepped up its anti-regime protests in the run-up to the race, with the Formula One chiefs resisting the calls.

To contact the reporters on this story: Joyce Koh in Singapore at; Zijing Wu in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at