Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone says he expects the sport to have new ownership by the end of the year and that three parties are currently interested.
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It was reported over the summer that CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm which has owned F1 for the last 10 years, was in talks with a US-Qatari bid to sell its 35.5 per cent controlling stake, while Ecclestone confirmed he would sell his five per cent stake as part of any deal.
And when asked on Tuesday about those negotiations, the 84-year-old told the Camp Beckenbauer Global Summit in Austria: "There has been a lot of interest and I would say there are three parties at the moment, where I would be surprised if one of them did not buy them (the shares) shortly."
When then asked what kind of timeframe in which he would expect to see a new owner in F1, Ecclestone said: "This year."
Reports in June said a deal potentially worth up to £5billion was being fronted by Stephen Ross, the US property tycoon who owns the Miami Dolphins, with the backing of Qatar Sports Investments – the Middle Eastern firm which owns French football club Paris St Germain.
The situation would appear to leave Ecclestone's future as the kingpin of Formula One in doubt.
But Max Mosley, former president of motor sport world governing body the FIA, said in June he did not think new ownership would bring an end to Ecclestone's reign.
"I think whatever happens, if it is taken over, I don't see Bernie's role changing unless he wants it to change because he is the person who has managed to sell it everywhere'', Mosley said.
"That would be my gut feeling. The fact is there is no-one else who could do the job as well.''
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