Chase Carey says F1 has ‘eliminated $1bn tier of debt’

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Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has claimed $1billion of debt has been “eliminated”, as owner Liberty Media revealed its financial results for the second quarter of 2017.

In April to June this year F1 recorded a 3% increase in revenues year-on-year, earning $616million.

However, operating income fell from $90m to $45m as expenses and others costs rose, with events like F1 Live in London being held in Liberty’s first season in charge of grand prix racing.

An initial offering of 12.9million shares of common stock created net proceeds of $388m, which partially repaid a second lien term loan.

A subsequent refinancing of debt has reportedly enabled that loan to be repaid in full.

The repayments helped decrease the total debt attributed to F1 by $442m, but Carey said the moves “successfully eliminated an expensive $1bn tier” of debt.

He explained that the group had “repriced our remaining debt, and have also received upgrades from the ratings agencies.

“The combined effects will be to reduce annual interest expense by up to $90m going forward.”

Carey said the company’s expenses would rise as it continues to recruit senior staff but said its spending plans would be “refined” before the end of the year.

“The corporate head count has been sort of 70-75, and it has probably about doubled,” said Carey. “We’re still building it out.

“We’ve hired most of the senior executives, but we haven’t built the team out fully.

“We don’t really have an appropriate digital platform today, so there are investments that we’ve made to support a digital platform for us going forward.

“In the next few months for the first time we’re refining our plans around that.”

Liberty has also confirmed Carey’s salary is tied to the financial performance of F1.

“The substantial majority of Chase’s compensation is performance related, and tied into the operational performance at F1 directly, or the stock of the F1 Group,” said Liberty boss Greg Maffei.

Chase Carey says F1 has ‘eliminated $1bn tier of debt’

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