Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, in an apparent attempt to significantly expand his sports portfolio, is partnering with a group of Qatari investors in a bid to purchase controlling interest of the Formula One auto racing circuit in a deal estimated between $7 billion and $8 billion, The Financial Times reported Tuesday.
RSE Ventures, one of Ross’ companies, wants to purchase 35.5 percent of the holding company that owns Formula One from Europe’s largest buyout group, CVC Capital Partners, according to the report.
RSE Ventures declined to comment, and CVC told The Financial Times that it has not received a bid from the Ross/Qatari group.
Ross’ potential purchase could be the prelude for Formula One’s entrance into the United States.
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Besides owning the Dolphins, Ross, 75, is chairman of Related Companies, an international properties firm with more than $20 billion in assets.
In March, Forbes ranked Ross as the world’s 216th-wealthiest person, with a net worth of $6.5 billion. That ranked 72nd among U.S. residents and fifth among owners of a team in a U.S. pro sports league — behind only the Los Angeles Clippers’ Steve Ballmer; Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen; Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Heat owner Micky Arison ($7.1 billion).
Last year, Liberty Global and Discovery Communications tried to buy 49 percent of Formula One but the deal collapsed. Ross’ proposal reportedly would buy out the shares of Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One’s chief executive, but Ross and the Qatari group reportedly want him to remain involved.