Despite promising growth figures being forecast for the F1 business, the decision about when to float the sport on the Singapore stock market will be based on wider-ranging factors.
Following on from the recent report that Bernie Ecclestone and new F1 chairman Peter Brabeck may hold off on the issue of the sport's much-hyped IPO after the disappointing reaction to Facebook
's similar offering [see story here
cited 'a slump in Asian equities', ' Europe's debt troubles and slower growth in China' as other reasons why F1 may delay its appearance on the exchanges, especially as several major IPOs were pulled in both Hong Kong and Singapore recently.
"Deal volumes in Hong Kong, Asia's IPO capital, [are] down more than 80 per cent in 2012 from last year, [as] IPOs had their worst start in about four years in the Asia-Pacific region, with overall equity market activity down about a fifth from 2011," the report pointed out.
Despite the uncertainty over the timing of the offering, however, appointed bookrunner UBS believes that there will be strong revenue growth in the core business over the next few years, amid claims that the next edition of the Concorde Agreement will pave the way for more races to be included on the F1 calendar. That number currently stands at 20 - which was only recently approved by the teams - but initial reports claiming inside knowledge of the Concorde negotiations suggest that as many as five races could be added over the next few years
According to a UBS 'research note' seen by Reuters
, the number of races is expected to rise to 22 by 2015 and, while not quite as high as some suggestions, that would still drive revenue growth, particularly from hosting fees, advertising and ticket sales.
While growth is expected to fall short of the 9.6 per cent achieved between 2003-2011, when the schedule grew from 16 races to 20 and broke into previously untried territories such as Bahrain, Turkey, Korea, Singapore, India and Abu Dhabi, revenue is still expected to rise by 9.2 per cent annually between 2011-16, eventually reaching a high of $2.37bn. Adjusted net income is forecast to reach $588m by 2016.
"F1 gets about a third of its revenue from race promotion fees, or money paid by cities such as Singapore or Sao Paulo to host the races," the report claimed, "Another third of revenue comes from broadcasting rights, with the remainder coming from advertising sales and non-core businesses, including transportation of race teams and hospitality at race tracks."