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Motorsport | Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone © Gallo Images

Singapore IPO hit by market turmoil

Formula One is waiting for "the most opportune" time to launch its $2.5 billion share sale in Singapore after turbulence returned to financial markets, a source said on Friday.

The glitzy motor sport was given the go-ahead last month for an initial public offering, just days after Facebook's disappointing initial public offering (IPO) fell flat in New York. However, no launch date has yet been set.

"Everything has been moving. We're just waiting to see how markets are doing and then we'll press the 'go' button.... We are looking at the most opportune time to launch," the source familiar with the deal told AFP.

Formula One is set to be one of the biggest IPOs this year. The latest comments come just a day after Graff Diamonds postponed its $1.0 billion launch in Hong Kong due to "adverse market conditions".

"We haven't got a date set yet, but with all the problems in the eurozone and the markets, we will be waiting until things have settled a little," Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as saying by Britain's Guardian newspaper.

"Who would want to try and list now? I did see what Graff did, and it shows now isn't the right time."

English football club Manchester United was also cleared to launch an IPO in Singapore last year, but has not yet set a date.

Formula One has already started pre-marketing, or privately gauging interest from investors, the source said, as it seeks to offload part of its holding company, which owns the sport's commercial and broadcast rights.

Ecclestone added that Formula One would launch this year "for sure" but suggested a delay until after the current season, which wraps up in late November.

"This year, for sure, we are going to go through to market. I don't think there's a big rush, but we plan to get it done by the end of the year," he said.

"We'll wait until October or November when the Formula One season is over because at the moment we just don't have time to do an investor roadshow," he added.

Global stocks have slumped in recent weeks, mainly over renewed fears about the health of European economies. Singapore's stock market fell nearly 7.0 percent in May.


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