Bernie Ecclestone has built Formula One into one of the world’s most watched sports. Formula One Administration is the commercial rights-holder to the Formula One Championship. The company is owned by SLEC Holdings, 25% of which is owned by Bambino, the Ecclestone family trust. The other 75% of SLEC Holdings, owned by the German media company Kirch before it collapsed, is now controlled by JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers and Bayerische Landesbank. In its latest 2001 accounts the company reported operating profits of £185m on sales of £412m, and it employed 448 people. After several vintage years, Mercedes, Renault, Ford and BMW are said to be looking at staging rival races when present contracts expire in 2008. Ecclestone, whose wealth is estimated at £2.4 billion, is holding talks to head off such a challenge.
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