On paper, CVC Capital Partners is still trying to sell its remaining shares in the Formula One group. The idea of a flotation is on permanent hold (although no-one will admit that) and the firm has struggled to find anyone interested in a private sale, despite the fact that the Formula One company's profit margins are a private equity dream.
What is really interesting is the news the other day that CVC is going to be bidding to buy sports marketing agency IMG. This story has been kicking around for a while but the announcement that its bid is in league with Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holding and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has made it rather more interesting because both of these companies are very active in F1 and want to see the sport in good hands.
Not surprisingly, this has led to suggestions that CVC could end up doing with IMG what it did with the Formula One group and combining different assets in order to create a nicer-looking package to sell to the world. An IMG which is looking after Formula One would be worth a great deal more than an IMG without it.
CVC's primary aim is to create value in its businesses and this would work well because F1's value has suffered because of the trials and tribulations in Germany. It should be remembered that when CVC bought Formula One it then quickly added Allsport Management and the GP2 company in order to increase the value in the business.
Ecclestone himself says that he is disappointed that the case has been delayed because he wants to get it over and done with and get on with running the business. In the interim he now has to sort out the civil case in London from German media group, Constantin Medien, which is claiming damages of at least $171 million, on the basis that the Formula One group was undervalued when it was sold to CVC Capital.
Ecclestone, who will soon celebrate his 83rd birthday, continues to run the sport on a daily basis.