Ecclestone’s troubles mount as German state bank seeks €290 million in damages

Bernie Ecclestone under pressure from several fronts

Bernie Ecclestone under pressure on several fronts

Germany’s BayernLB bank is seeking damages from Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in connection with an F1 share sale to investor CVC. It claims that Ecclestone bribed a senior bank manager to acquire the package cheaply.

BayernLB was preparing a lawsuit against Formula 1  boss Bernie Ecclestone for €290 million in damages, a spokesperson for the German state-owned lender told the DPA news agancy.

The lawsuit would be filed with the High Court in London presumably in January, she told the German news agency, and followed the sentencing of a former BayernLB manager, who admitted that he had accepted a bribe from Ecclestone.

In 2012, a court in Munich jailed BayernLB’s former chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky for eight and a half years. Gribkowsky said he paid Ecclestone a commission in the region of €48 million, of which about €32 million was kicked back to Gribkowsky.

Bernie Ecclestone with Gerhard Gribkowsky

Bernie Ecclestone with Gerhard Gribkowsky

BayernLB said it was demanding that Ecclestone should return the commission in addition to other sums lost by the bank in connection with the sale of a controlling F1 share package to private equity firm CVC.

In 2006, the German lender, which is based in Munich, was the majority shareholder in Formula 1, but sold a controlling stake in the motor racing company to the US-based investor.

BayernLB claims that Gribkowsky sold the stake below its true value because of the graft deal with Ecclestone. CVC allegedly promised to keep Ecclestone on in his role as the sport’s commercial front.

Currently, CVC owns a 35.5-percent stake in F1’s commercial rights, after selling down its holding from 63 percent last year. In November, the firm’s co-Chairman Donald Mackenzie said that plans for a stock market floatation of F1 would be postponed until damage claims against Ecclestone were resolved.

Mackenzie also said that Ecclestone would be fired if he was found to have committed a crime in his dealings with Gribkowsky. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Bec

    Banksters ehh.

    First BayernLB said F1 was sold above it’s book value, and that they were more than happy with the price they got, now it seems they want more money to pay their banksters bigger bonuses.

  • sebolonso

    Bernie did hit the roof for empty handed guys success. In big boys league Bernie is a piccolo. Better carry bags up to the room, get a tip and smile widely. (Like Fernando:).

  • McLarenfan

    Obviously this BayernLB bank is more screwed up than first thought they have no idea what they are talking about first of all they made a killing on the deal then they see ££££ so they want more bloody bankers all of them. What with lawyers and fricken bankers Bernie looks innocent.

  • Taskmaster

    Watching the lawyers going after Bernie is like watching a pack of wolves go after a wounded elk. They rush in and take shots at the ankles, then slowly gather the courage to come down on their prey when its bled and tired out. In time, the pack gangs up and really tears things up. Once the feeding frenzy is in full swing, and the blood is flowing, they tear away the meat, leaving a pile of chewed bones in their wake. Bernie is facing a rabid pack of litigious wolves. He is no longer seen as part of the future – so is disposable – vulnerable to being taken down and consumed to feed the new pups. He looses one case, its all over. Dead man walking.

  • Safrimike

    Taskmaster – excellent summary. Bernie has shown weakness, and it’s time to go, less he drag F1 down with him.
    Too used to getting his way.

  • Geoff day

    Nothing surprises me where Bernie is concerned he is a second hand car dealer after all

  • Urko

    I hope the Germans don’t have special prisons (more comfortable) for the privileged, such as in the USA. After all, we are all equal.

  • Peter Clarke

    Ernie should sit in jail.

  • Texas Roadhouse

    Not quite an accurate statement of what MIGHT happen – the bank has said they would file in January – the same time that the verdict on the case in progress will be given, and judging by the comments made by the judge during closing arguments, I wouldn’t be putting too much money on Ecclestone being found guilty. If that is the outcome, you can bet Bayern Bank will quietly drop their suit.

    As for a wounded elk – nah – this guy has teeth….

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Can I sue Bernie for devaluing F1 by making the teams have to get pay drivers because he sucks too much money out of the sport?