The threat of a breakaway Formula One series was today put to bed as leading car manufacturers, Bernie Ecclestone, and F1 rights shareholders finalised a 'memorandum of understanding' on the future of F1.
Following a series of constructive discussions between GPWC shareholders, representing BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari, Ford and Renault, the SLEC shareholders, representing Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, and Bambino Holdings Limited, as well as Mr Bernie Ecclestone, as CEO of Formula One Administration Limited (FOA), a Memorandum of Understanding on the future structure of Formula One has been unanimously agreed and signed by all parties.
Among other issues, the following points have been agreed:
- Team revenues to increase significantly over distributions presently received under the current Concorde Agreement
- GPWC will be represented on the SLEC board with three Directors enabling GPWC to contribute its expert knowledge to the sport and to support its long-term success
- Current SLEC shareholdings are not anticipated to change significantly, with Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers continuing to own a majority of the SLEC shares
- Mr. Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Administration, will continue to run the company as CEO
- Commitment by all signatories to an IPO of the company in the short to medium term
As the existing Concorde Agreement expires in 2007 an extension of the agreement is part of the overall solution.
Definitive agreements are in preparation and targeted to be signed mid-2004 with effect from the 2004 season.
Prof. Juergen Hubbert, Chairman of GPWC commented, "This Memorandum of Understanding incorporates GPWC's core objectives and is in the very best interests of the teams and the fans."
Bernie Ecclestone added, "Obviously my main interest has always been to secure the long-term future of Formula One. With an amended and extended Concorde Agreement about to be signed, and a general consensus on the key issues, I am very optimistic."
A joint press conference will be scheduled for mid January 2004. Further details will be announced then.