Mohammed Ben-Sulayem Liberty Media Saudi Arabia city Newcastle Sporting FIA Mohammed Ben-Sulayem Liberty Media Saudi Arabia city Newcastle

FIA boss addresses report of £16bn Saudi F1 takeover bid

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independent.co.uk

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem is “cautious” after reports emerged that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund have submitted a £16bn takeover bid for Formula 1’s commercial rights.

A report in Bloomberg over the weekend suggested that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) - which has a majority stake in Newcastle United FC and is chaired by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman - have tabled an offer over $20bn (£16bn) to F1 owners Liberty Media for the rights of the sport.

While this was reportedly rejected, Ben Sulayem took to social media to publicise his views, insisting the alleged price tag was “inflated” and any potential buyer needs to “apply common sense...

not just a lot of money.” Yet Sky Sports are reporting that senior figures in Formula 1 - seperate from the FIA, the sport’s governing body - are unimpressed that Ben Sulayem is speaking out on matters which are not his direct remit. “As the custodians of motorsport, the FIA, as a non-profit organisation, is cautious about alleged inflated price tags of $20bn being put on F1,” Ben Sulayem tweeted. “Any potential buyer is advised to apply common sense, consider the greater good of the sport and come with a clear, sustainable plan – not just a lot of money.“It is our duty to consider what the future impact will be for promoters in terms of increased hosting fees and other commercial costs, and any adverse impact that it could have on fans.”Mohammed Ben Sulayem is “cautious” after reports emerged that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund have submitted a £16bn takeover bid for Formula 1’s commercial rightsHowever, Sky added that the report of a submitted Saudi bid was wide of the mark.

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