Freshfields consolidates CVC Capital relationship with F1 share sale

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised regular client CVC Capital Partners on the sale of $1.6bn (£1bn) in Formula One shares to three investors ahead of the company’s planned IPO.

Freshfields corporate partner Chris Bown, who also looks after the firm’s relationship with CVC, led on the deal with help from associate Anna White. Bown is also advising CVC, as well as Formula One itself, on its Singapore IPO listing, which is planned for later in the summer.

CVC sold a combined $1.6bn stake in Formula One to three institutional investors: Waddell & Reed, Black Rock and Norges Bank Investment Management. Following the sale, CVC has cut its controlling stake in Formula One from around 63 per cent, to about 42 per cent.

Only Norges took external legal advice on the purchase, instructing Allen & Overy banking partner Paul Phillips. Waddell & Reed and Black Rock handled the deal in-house.

According to reports the buyers took no voting rights with their shares and have no put options to sell their investment back to CVC if the IPO does not go ahead. The deal sets a benchmark valuation of around $7bn for Formula One.