* Formula One looking at flotation late this year - CEO
* Singapore remains favoured destination
* Listing plans put on hold in 2012 because of volatile
By Keith Weir
LONDON, April 29 The company behind Formula One
motor racing could be floated in Singapore at the end of this
year if markets remain benign, the sport's chief executive
Bernie Ecclestone said on Monday.
Plans to raise up to $3 billion by listing the firm that
runs the high-speed racing series were pulled last June amid
market turmoil following the flotation of social network group
Facebook, which saw its shares plunge after their debut.
Ecclestone confirmed a report in the Daily Telegraph
newspaper that the Formula One company structure had been
reorganised in preparation for a fresh attempt at a listing in
Singapore by the end of 2013.
"It's (the listing) not been confirmed yet but provided the
markets are sensible, that is what is going to happen,"
Ecclestone told Reuters in a telephone interview.
"Last year, I thought it was the wrong time," he added.
"Things are looking more positive generally."
Global equity fundraising rose 24 percent in the first three
months of 2013 on the back of stronger markets and easing
concerns about the state of the global economy.
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is the largest
shareholder in Formula One, with a stake of 35.5 percent and has
been the main owner of the business since 2006.
CVC last year raised $2.1 billion through the sales of
stakes in the business to U.S. investment groups BlackRock
and Waddell & Reed and Norway's Norges Bank Investment
Management. Those deals cut its ownership from 63 percent.
Ecclestone said he believed CVC would want to maintain a
stake in the business. "They certainly wouldn't want to dump all
their shares," he said.
CVC declined to comment.
The billionaire Ecclestone retains a five percent stake in
the business which has commercial rights to Formula One for the
next 97 years.
Now 82, Ecclestone has transformed the sport from a pastime
for wealthy enthusiasts into a money-spinner that stages around
the globe watched by millions.
Ecclestone said he had no plans to sell any of his stake and
has always dismissed talk of retirement.
He suggested that any flotation could wait until the season
had ended in November.
"I think that would be the right thing to do," he said.
Flotation in Singapore, which stages a race in September,
would allow Formula One to tap into Asia's appetite for luxury
brands and its interest in sport.
Formula One had revenues of $1.5 billion in 2011. It earns
money from fees paid by circuits to host races, the sale of
television rights, sponsorship and corporate hospitality.
German Sebastian Vettel of the Red Bull team is leading the
world championship after four races this season. Vettel has won
the title for the past three seasons.