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Liberty Media agrees to buy F1

Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Liberty Media Corporation announced Wednesday afternoon that it acquired Formula One from a group led by CVC Capital Partners, which bought the majority stake in the racing organization in 2006.

The total price paid will be $8.5 billion, $4.4 billion being the determined equity value of F1 and $4.1 billion in debt.

Chase Carey, who helped launch Fox Sports in the mid-1990s and also served as CEO of DirecTV, will become the new chairman of Formula One. Bernie Ecclestone, who will make roughly $230 million from his 5.3 percent stake in the business, will stay on as CEO. The 8.5 percent stake his family trust has in the business is now worth $375 million in the cash out.

CVC Capital Partners comes away with approximately $6 billion from its $2 billion purchase a decade ago.

Like the Atlanta Braves and SiriusXM, which Liberty also owns, the investment will be converted into a tracking stock that will allow investors to invest in the F1 business.

With American owners, one area of growth for the brand could be the US, which has never embraced F1. Haas became the first American-owned F1 team in three decades this year. There is, however, not an American driver racing on the circuit.