Formula One CEO Ecclestone hit with bribery charge


formula one racing carFormula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted on a bribery charge in Germany in connection to the acquisition of a stake in the racing business by private equity firm CVC in 2006.

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 in Formula one 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.

“I have just spoken to my lawyers and they have received an indictment. It’s being translated into English. We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case. It’s a pity it’s happened,” the Formula One boss told the FT.

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

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