Ecclestone Return Heralds New F1 Board Revamp
Formula One (F1) motor racing is preparing for further governance changes as the sport's boss, Bernie Ecclestone, retakes his boardroom seat following a £60m bribery trial settlement.
Sky News understands that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, which administers the estate of the bankrupt Wall Street investment bank and is F1's third-largest shareholder, is poised to name Sean Mahoney as its board representative.
Mr Mahoney, a former Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank executive, is expected to join the board of Delta Topco ahead of the next scheduled meeting of directors in September.
His arrival will follow a change of the director nominated by Waddell & Reed, a US-based fund manager, which recently named Michael Avery to represent its substantial minority stake in F1.
A director of Delphi Automotive, Mr Mahoney will replace Peter Sherratt, a former Lehman executive, at an important time for F1's ownership.
The Lehman estate is keen to sell its roughly 15% stake in F1, and has been approached by the US media groups Discovery Communications and Liberty Global about a possible deal.
Mr Ecclestone, who stood down from the Delta Topco board earlier this year pending the outcome of his bribery trial in Germany, will resume his place on the board after settling with prosecutors.
Speaking at Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Friday ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix, Mr Ecclestone said he hoped to continue running F1 for as long as possible, adding that being reinstated to the board would make "no difference".
CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm which took control of F1 in 2005, still owns approximately 35% of the sport but is likely to sell that stake or mount a renewed attempt to float the company in the next 12 months.
Last month, Delta Topco's board approved a £585m dividend payout financed through a renegotiation of the company's borrowing arrangements.
Another of F1's minority shareholders, Norway's vast sovereign wealth fund, has faced domestic criticism over its investment in the sport because of its mandate to own shares only in public companies or those which have concrete intentions to list on a stock exchange.
CVC declined to comment on Friday while Mr Mahoney could not be reached.
(c) Sky News 2014