News Corporation has opened preliminary talks with potential business partners, including with Carlos Slim, the world's richest man, about entering a bid for Formula 1 (F1) motor racing, according to reports last night.
According to Sky News, itself partly owned by News Corp, apart from the Mexican telecoms billionaire, Rupert Murdoch's global media company is said to have been in talks with at least one Formula 1 team about putting a consortium together to purchase the business.
However, it is said that though the current owners of the motor racing business, the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, would consider an offer, they have not been approached by News Corp, have no plans for the sale of Formula 1, nor were they previously aware of any bid being put together.
The talks are said to be at an early stage and no bid may be made immediately, however, in the event Sky may instead make an attempt to acquire broadcasting rights to the sport, currently with the BBC under a five-year deal it secured in 2009.
News Corp investments in broadcasting sports have contributed in no small measure to Murdoch's success having held a 9.9 per cent stake in Mancheser United Football Club. The shares were sold in 2003.
It is reported that JP Morgan is advising the company on its possible new move, though it did not make any comment.