Formula 1, the popular global auto racing sport, is speeding to a possible initial public offering as major investment houses Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. (NYSE: WDR), Norges Bank Investment Management and BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) have purchased 21 percent of the company, CVC Capital Partners, owner of Formula 1, confirmed Tuesday.

The three companies purchased a combined 21 percent of Formula 1 for $1.6 billion. CVC owned 63.4 percent of F1 after it bought a majority stake in the racing company in 2006 for $2.5 billion. CVC will continue to hold a controlling stake in the company.

Tuesday's announcement presages an expected IPO of the racing company in June, Bloomberg News reported. Formula 1 is expected to raise as much as $3 billion in its IPO on the Singapore Stock Exchange. An IPO by F1 would be the biggest on the Singapore exchange since February 2011. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and UBS AG are expected to manage the Formula 1 IPO.

This is great news for Formula 1 and an important step in its development. CVC became the controlling shareholder of Formula 1 in 2006 ... The addition of these three highly regarded investors to our share register is validation of this success, a statement from CVC said.

London-based CVC manages funds for more than 300 investors and has assets exceeding $44 billion under management. Overland Park, Kan.-based Waddell & Reed manages $94 billion, while Norges Bank is the investment branch of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global which had roughly $600 billion in assets in March. New York-based BlackRock manages more than $3.5 trillion.

Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. (NYSE: WDR) shares rose 2.3 percent to $28.36 Tuesday trading while. BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) shares fell 41 cents to $167.32.