Magic circle firm Freshfields along with US firms Weil Gotshal & Manges and Baker Botts, have each been involved in the recent $8bn (£6bn) sale of Formula One to media giant Liberty Media. Freshfields advised long-time client and seller, CVC Capital Partners and seemed an apt fit for the deal, having provided counsel on the 2012 sale of $1.6bn (£1.2bn) worth of Formula One shares. CVC owns Formula One’s parent company Delta Topco and thus required various legal advice surrounding the tax, competition and financial implications of the sale. Weil were instructed by US investment bank Lehman Brothers who own shares in the well-known motorsports company. Lastly, Liberty Media sought advice from Baker Botts, who have for a long time been the buyer’s firm of choice.
The sale will bring about a slight change for the company as its renamed the Formula One Group. Given the dominance of Formula One in the single-seat auto racing event, the deal effectively means the sale of a sport. Nevertheless, Bernie Ecclestone still remains at the helm as CEO of the group while its headquarters will also remain in London.