- Auto Racing - Ecclestone looking to sell share

Friday, February 2
Ecclestone looking to sell share

FRANKFURT, Germany -- DaimlerChrysler is trying to buy into Formula One a day after Bernie Ecclestone announced plans to sell his stake in the world racing tour to a consortium of automakers.

"There are talks," DaimlerChrysler spokeswoman Nicole Gall said Friday, but did not elaborate.

Ecclestone, the longtime head of Formula One, and the financially troubled German media company EM.TV own half of the Formula One holding company.

The carmakers, which have teams on the circuit, have sought to gain more influence over Formula One since last summer, when they were surprised to find Ecclestone had sold shares to EM.TV.

Renault, BMW, Jaguar and Fiat -- which owns Ferrari -- race in F1 with DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz.

"We want things to happen as soon as possible," Ecclestone told The Times of London. "These car companies have put an enormous investment in Formula One, and they want to make sure their money and the sport is safe."

The Times said Ecclestone is ready to sell his 50 percent of the business -- held in a family trust -- to the consortium. But EM.TV still has an option to buy half of Ecclestone's stake.

The troubled company has been in negotiations with another German media company, Kirch Group AG, about exchanging nearly half of EM.TV's Formula One share for $550 million in cash and other assets.


Ecclestone to sell F1 stake