A Winning Week For The Ecclestones: Petra Gets The House, Bernie Keeps Formula 1
6:26 pm, July 14th | by Hillary Reinsberg
It’s been an awesome week for the Ecclestones. Young Petra’s officially a home owner today – and her Dad can finally rest easy knowing Rupert Murdoch likely won’t be pulling any sneaky moves to take control of — or at least ruin — his Formula 1 enterprise.
First, multiple sources report that 22-year-old Petra Ecclestone (the now-famous, “abhorrently spoiled” heiress) officially closed the deal on Candy Spelling’s Los Angeles mansion. She paid $85 million, a sharp discount from the originally reported price of $150 million, but still, a lot of money. Especially for someone the age of a college senior.
Meanwhile, we’re guessing Petra’s billionaire father, Bernie Ecclestone also has reason to rejoice this week – in light of the News Corp hacking scandal and Murdoch’s subsequent withdrawal of his BSkyB buyout bid. Along with the BSkyB purchase, there was word that Murdoch would try to buy Formula 1, which Ecclestone owns. Both purchases would have been awesome for Murdoch, but awful for Ecclestone. Why? As we noted previously, if News Corp successfully took over Formula 1 and BSkyB, they could air Formula 1 races on their own channels, or could even sell the rights elsewhere. BSkyB is a subscription TV service though, so airing Formula 1 on there could lower audience numbers. Obviously, none of that would be good for Bernie Ecclestone.
Profit and debate aside, Ecclestone simply didn’t want to sell. At the time, an embittered Ecclestone said only that Murdoch “had better have a bloody enormous offer.” But with Murdoch out of the BSkyB game, it’s fair to assume he’s also out of the Formula 1 game. The Ecclestones win again!
The duo also has Petra’s upcoming nuptials to celebrate: the new California homeowner is planning a “three-day extravaganza” wedding. At the new house? Puh-leaze. It’s at an old castle near Rome — the same place where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married. For the Ecclestones, only the best!