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Formula E secures fresh Chinese investment

CMC Capital Partners, a leading Chinese investor in the sports and entertainment sectors, has today (Tuesday) announced an investment in Formula E Holdings Limited, the official promoter of the Formula E electric car-racing championship.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Formula E joins CMC’s extensive investment portfolio, which includes City Football Group, the ownership entity of English Premier League club Manchester City; sports marketing agency SECA, sports data company Cubee Technology, virtual reality specialist NextVR and China Sports Media. In December, CMC led a multi-million dollar investment in HaiQiu Sports, a sports technology company that was co-founded by former China national team footballer Sun Jihai.

CMC will work with SECA to help expand Formula E’s presence globally and in China, through increasing media exposure and cooperation with a broad range of CMC portfolio companies.

“The global automotive industry is now undergoing profound changes with the power source shifting to renewable energy from traditional petrochemical,” Ruigang Li, founding chairman of CMC, said. “China is playing a central role in promoting these changes with its vast auto market. The evolution of the auto industry has also brought historic opportunities for motor sports.

“Since its inauguration three years ago, Formula E has quickly evolved into a premium global sports IP under a first-class leadership, with remarkable progress in promoting sustainability, innovation, and market penetration of electric vehicles, as well as in media partnership, sponsorships and tourism. CMC has been focusing on investing in premium global and local sports IPs, and we look forward to working together with Formula E both in China and globally.”

CMC's investment in Formula E follows that of Chinese private equity firm Yao Capital last month. Automotive digital technology business Motorsport Network also recently acquired an undisclosed stake in the series.

Formula E founder and chief executive Alejandro Agag added: “China is an important player in the potential of electric vehicle manufacturing and production, and this partnership reinforces our intentions to promote sustainable mobility across Asia and Mainland China.

“The opening round of each season has been hosted in this region – Beijing and Hong Kong – and we have teams and drivers such as Techeetah and Ma Qing Hua already competing in the series. We look forward to working closely with CMC, and continuing to grow the profile of Formula E in key territories across the globe.”

The 2016-17 Formula E campaign – the third season since the series’ inception – continues with the Argentinian leg in Buenos Aires on Saturday. The series receives television coverage in China via state broadcaster CCTV.