There appears to be no end to Bernie Ecclestone’s legal troubles.
A $650 million lawsuit has been filed in New York by private equity group Bluewaters Communications Holdings, which claims that it was diddled out of the opportunity to buy Formula 1’s commercial rights in 2005 when they were sold to CVC Capital Partners.
Their claim is that Ecclestone conspired with CVC Capital Partners, Gerhard Gribkowsky (the deal’s jailed broker) and former rights owner BayernLB to sell the rights for less than they were actually worth
The final sale amounted to over $1.6 billion – of which Gribkowsky admitted to pocketing close to $40 million in
bribes what Ecclestone called a ‘shakedown payment’ – but BCH claims that it had submitted a written offer to pay “10% above any genuine bona-fide offer put forward by any other competing buyer”.
Because of the payment made to Gribkowsky, BCH alleges that it lost out on the opportunity to buy the rights.
Ecclestone has responded to the suit by claiming that BCH was not given consideration because they didn’t provide a bank guarantee under the terms of the sale.
“What would be interesting to find out is: at the time, was he in a position to pay that and where would he have got the money from?” Ecclestone told City AM when asked about the lawsuit.
“It’s just a tiresome lot of aggravation. His claim is an absurd claim. He didn’t know that the other bidders were going to pay.”
That response isn’t going to make the case go away, and nor will it stop the ongoing investigation by German prosecutors into Ecclestone’s under the table payment made to Gribkowsky, the former BayernLB chief risk officer who aided CVC’s rise to the top of the tendering process.
Latest posts by Richard Bailey (see all)
- 2020 F1 Season Review (Blu Ray) - 27 February, 2021
- WTCR: Guerrieri outwits Muller at the Nordschleife - 26 September, 2020
- WTCR: Girolami breaks Nordschleife lap record to claim pole - 25 September, 2020
- WTCR: Hyundai withdraws from Germany round - 24 September, 2020
- WTCR: Ehrlacher leads Lynk & Co podium sweep at Zolder - 13 September, 2020