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GP Week : Issue 177a
F1 >>> NEWS in one app Complete collection of WRC statistics 40 years of World Rally Championships Get access on the move BERNIE’S LEGAL WOES CONTINUE With every passing week it seems as though there’s another lawsuit for Bernie Ecclestone. The F1 supremo’s legal woes have been compounded by Bluewaters Communications Holdings, which last week filed a $650 million suit against him in the New York State Supreme Court. The Bluewater claim centres on the argument that they lost $650 million when CVC Capital Partners bought into Formula One in 2006. According to Bluewater, the right to buy the stake in F1 belonged to them, as they had offered “10 percent above any genuine bona fide offer put for ward by any other competing buyer” . By bribing German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, Bluewater claim, Ecclestone prevented them from acquiring the stake that they other wise would have won. Had they successfully bid for the F1 stake, Bluewater calculate they would have made $650 million since 2006, although it is not clear where that figure comes from, as it does not match CVC’s earnings from the sport in the same period. Bluewater go on to allege that Ecclestone was motivated by his desire to remain in control of Formula One despite the sale of the stake. “Ecclestone was motivated by a thirst for power. He wanted desperately to remain ‘F1 Supremo’,” the claim states. But according to Ecclestone, the offer tabled by John Gregg, founder of Bluewater, lacked any of the financial guarantees that should have given it credibility. “He [Gregg] put it in writing that no matter what anyone else paid he would give 10 percent more, but unless there is a bank guarantee it doesn’t really matter,” Ecclestone told CityAM. “His claim is an absurd claim.” Ecclestone is not the only defendant named in the suit – Gribkowsky, CVC, and Bayerische Landesbank all feature, as do Alpha Prema, Alpha Topco, and Delta Topco, all companies run by Ecclestone or his family trusts. Should the case go to trial, Ecclestone last weekend confirmed that he would fight the suit against him. 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: