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Last Updated: Friday, 19 December, 2003, 18:08 GMT
Formula One thrashes out deal
Michael Schumacher of Ferrari's F1 team
The car firms behind top teams wanted more clout
Car makers are to get a bigger say in how Formula One is run after hammering out an agreement with SLEC, the firm that runs the sport.

The deal spells an end to the car makers' threats to start a breakaway motor racing tournament from 2008.

Their Grand Prix World Championship alliance is to have three seats on SLEC's board, the two sides said.

They said SLEC boss Bernie Ecclestone would remain chairman and the firm may float on the stock market.

'Stable future'

The deal clears the way for the GPWC, SLEC and the Formula One Administration, which is also headed by Mr Ecclestone, to sign a new Concorde Agreement setting out the sport's commercial rules.

The previous Concorde Agreement was due to expire in 2007.

"With this memorandum of understanding, we have created a stable and long-term platform for all constituents of the Formula One Sport," said Dr Gerhard Gribkowsky, a spokesman for SLEC's shareholders.

The management of Formula One and its all-important broadcasting rights are controlled by SLEC.

Mr Ecclestone's family-owned trust owns 25% of SLEC, while the remaining 75% is held by a consortium of banks following the financial collapse of German media group Kirch in 2002.

Racing car makers, who invest heavily in Formula One by backing the teams, threatened in 2001 to set up a rival tournament.

They have been demanding a greater share of the sport's broadcasting rights and more control over how the sport is run.

Team revenues will "increase significantly" under the new deal, the joint statement from SLEC and GPWC said. No further details were given.

It described the possibility of selling shares in the SLEC as a "short to medium-term" prospect.

The GPWC includes Ferrari, which backs the sports' dominant team, BMW, Ford, Renault and DaimlerChrysler.

The car-makers' teams were thought to get just under half of the lucrative sports' revenues under the old agreement.




SEE ALSO:
Kirch 'ready to sell Formula One'
20 Feb 02  |  Business
Ecclestone: F1 to remain on free TV
06 Apr 01  |  Business
Formula One battle hots up
01 Mar 01  |  Business
F1 chiefs vote for breakaway
04 Apr 01  |  Formula One



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