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F1, CVC ordered to release documents related to 2006 stake sale

5 Aug 2013

formula one racing carCEO of private equity-backed Formula One Bernie Ecclestone is reportedly facing a claim from German media group Constantin Medien related to the sale of the company to CVC in 2006.

A London court has ordered Formula One and its private equity stakeholder CVC to release hundreds of documents related to the sale, said the FT.

Constantin Medien claims the 47 per cent F1 stake held by BayernLB was undervalued when it was sold to the private equity firm and is seeking damages of at least $171m,.

The company had the right to receive part of the consideration paid for the stake.

The court case is expected to last for six weeks starting on October 28 with Ecclestone and F1 CFO Duncan Llowarch set to be called as witnesses, said the report.

Last month Ecclestone was indicted on a bribery charge in Germany in connection to the F1 stake sale to CVC.

The 82-year old billionaire allegedly paid $44m to Bayern Landesbank’s chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky to facilitate the sale of its 48 per cent stake to CVC at below market value.

Gribkowsky has admitted that he has accepted the bribe from Ecclestone and is currently serving an eight and a half year sentence for tax evasion and bribery.

Ecclestone has denied the charges and said the payment was made to keep Gribkowsky from telling UK authorities about tax issues relating to his trust fund Bambino Holdings.

The charges against Ecclestone and the new lawsuit could jeopardise Formula One’s plans for a Singapore IPO, which was expected to be relaunched later this year.

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