Formula E set for “exponential growth” after Liberty Global investment

Liberty Global is buying another stake in the electric car racing series Formula E, giving the media company a controlling interest in the fast-growing motorsport.

The acquisition of Warner Bros. Discovery’s 25% equity will, on completion, bring Liberty Global’s total share of ownership in Formula E to 65%.

Liberty Global is a publicly traded company led by billionaire John Malone. Liberty Media, an independent publicly traded company, holds ownership of Formula One. Malone, the founder of Liberty, has a stake of around 31% in Liberty Global and a majority stake in Liberty Media. With this acquisition, Malone’s Liberty entities now encompass both Formula One and Formula E. He presides as chairman of the board for both entities.

“We’re excited to take a controlling interest in Formula E, a business we first invested in nearly 10 years ago,” said Mike Fries, CEO, Liberty Global, in a statement. “Formula E has a massive potential for further growth while integrating the most advanced sustainability standards in sports. The investment continues our approach of disciplined capital rotation across our Ventures portfolio and our strategy of making long-term investments in highly attractive businesses.”

Planning for “exponential growth”

Formula E is the only FIA sanctioned electric world motor racing championship, the world’s No.1 rated ESG sport and the only net zero carbon sport from inception. In its 10th season of all-electric city street racing, the Formula E Championship features 16 races in some of the world’s most iconic cities, including Monaco, covering four continents.

See also: Formula E highlights: Mitch Evans wins as Jaguar dominate Monaco ePrix

Formula E has around 400 million fans around the world, 22 drivers and 11 teams including Jaguar, Porsche, Maserati, McLaren, Nissan, DS, Mahindra, Andretti, Penske, Envision and ERT. 

“Liberty Global have a proven track record of building and growing businesses and their investment in us comes at the perfect time as we plan for a period of exponential growth,” said Jeff Dodds, CEO, Formula E. “Having personally known and worked alongside the Liberty leadership team for over a decade, I’m thrilled to be able to further benefit from their expertise and their resources. This is a powerful vindication of the huge potential of our sport.”

At the recent Monaco E-Prix, Formula E revealed its new car for next season, the Gen3 Evo, which accelerates to 100 km/h in just 1.82 seconds, around 30% faster than a current Formula 1 car.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, with closing expected before year end.

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Photo of Maserati MSG at the Monaco Formula E prix courtesy Maserati MSG Racing