Ex-F1 driver in talks

Coulthard’s Whisper in talks to sell stake to Sony Pictures

David Coulthard: co-founder

Sony Pictures Television looks like taking a stake in a production company co-founded by Former Formula One racing driver David Coulthard.

Whisper Films, which the Scot set up with Sunil Patel and TV producer Jake Humphrey in 2010, appointed Imagine Capital in May to consider options for the company.

Imagine has been looking at exiting a growth scheme used by Channel 4 to acquire a holding in the company four years ago. The stake has grown to the 25% maximum permitted under the scheme and The Sunday Times reports that Sony is in pole position as a buyer.

Whisper has since made shows for the BBC, BT Sport and Amazon Prime, alongside a £30m contract to provide live F1 coverage for Channel 4.

While C4’s motor-racing rights will expire next year, Whisper secured a number of other contracts including C4’s 2020 Paralympics, the recent 2019 Rugby World Cup for S4C and the Women’s FA Cup Final for BBC1.

Whisper has also diversified into documentaries, landing a number of commissions including Fergie vs Wenger: The Feud for Channel 5.

Humphreys, Coulthard and Patel are thought to be keen to retain a controlling stake in the business rather than seeking an outright sale.

Coulthard, won 13 Grand Prix, has built a second career as a broadcaster and commentator and a public speaker through London Speaker Bureau.

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