Ecclestone ignores bank claim of $400 million

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) CEO Formula One Group (FOM) in the Press Conference to announce the Singapore Grand Prix contract extension to 2017. Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Qualifying, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Saturday 22 September 2012.Oct.26 (Reuters) German Landesbank BayernLB is seeking $400 million in damages from Bernie Ecclestone, a move the Fotmula One motor racing chief said he would fight in court if need be.

BayernLB said on Thursday it had approached Ecclestone’s lawyers about seeking damages over a deal in 2005 to sell its stake in F1.

Information from the trial this summer of BayernLB’s former chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky has subsequently led the Munich-based lender to conclude it had sold its F1 stake on the cheap, a financial source said on Thursday.

Speaking at the hospitality suite at the F1 Grand Prix in India, Ecclestone said, “They asked our lawyers in Germany. They said could we have 400 million back? I did not respond. There is no point, is there?”

Ecclestone said he has not offered to settle. Asked whether he was prepared to go to court, he said, “Yeah, absolutely.”

Gribkowsky, who admitted to taking bribes during the stake sale, was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison by a Munich court in June.

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  • Bec

    How could the shares be undervalued when Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa and private equity firm Clearbrook Capital, were not prepared to pay Bayern as much as CVC.

    Bayern also stated in a report, “The sale of the F1 shares ‘decisively contributed to the positive result’.”

    and …

    Kurt Faltlhauser, head of Bayern’s administrative board said: “The price we were offered by CVC was surprisingly high and it came as a great relief.”

    While Bayern’s management board member, Dieter Burgmer, added: “BayernLB’s management board regarded the net proceeds from the sale of the Formula One stake to CVC as very attractive.”