German TV and rights group EM.TV & Merchandising has completed the secondary share offering it launched in connection with the acqusition of a 50% interest in Formula 1 (F1).
EM.TV completed the move by finalising a private placement of 2.5m shares. Florian Haffa, EM.TV's deputy chief execuive officer, said in a statement that the transaction meant that no further placements of additional shares were envisaged.
EM.TV, which recently paid out $680m to swallow the Jim Henson cartoon and character company, paid $1.25bn to buy a 50% stake in SLEC, the company which controls Formula One motor racing.
Haffa has previously said he wants to build coverage of F1 through carriage on a free-to-air broadcaster alongside existing premium pay-TV services. In order to improve commentary and understanding of the sport - and ultimately improve merchandising opportunities - he believes it better to develop long-term relationships rather than auction off rights on a race-by-race basis.
While EM.TV agreed to pay an astonishing $500m more for its SLEC stake than a group of venture capitalists only last year, Haffa recently called the agreement "the single most important deal in our company's history," and said: "Formula One sales are expected to grow by more than 25% annually in the next few years, and [produce] an EBITDA margin in excess of 50%."
In the lastest statement, Haffa commented: "The response from international investors has been impressive. This transaction has removed the share overhang without affecting the share price in the process."