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Exor decided Formula One investment too pricey

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(Credit: © Caren Firouz / Reuters) Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany leads the pack at the start of the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at Sakhir circuit in ManamaRed Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (2nd R) leads the pack at the start of the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at Sakhir circuit in Manama March 14, 2010.  REUTERS/Caren Firouz (BAHRAIN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)
May 29
9:02 AM 2012

Fiat and Ferrari's corporate parent Exor mulled an investment in motor racing company Formula One before its initial public offering, and opted to pass because the price was too high, Chairman and CEO John Elkann said on Tuesday.

Private equity fund CVC Capital Partners recently sold a "pre-IPO" stake for $1.6 billion in Formula One to a group of investors including the investment management firm BlackRock, shaving its stake to 42 percent.

Formula One will seek a valuation of about 18-22 times earnings for the IPO, which is expected to be completed in June, sources have told Reuters.

"We looked at the investment opportunity in Formula One, but we didn't move forward with it, because the price ahead of the flotation was too high," said Elkann at a shareholders meeting on Tuesday.

Exor and News Corp said in May 2011 they were teaming up to explore options for an investment in Formula One.

The plan, which would have involved the two companies taking a controlling stake, did not go forward, however, because CVC decided it preferred to sell down its holding in an initial public offering.

Turin-based Exor is a holding company through which the Agnelli family controls Fiat, Ferrari, SGS and other companies, as well as the northern Italian city's Juventus Football Club .

This article is copyrighted by Reuters

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