DI­ETER RENCKEN WHAT HAP­PENS IN A POST-BERNIE ERA?

The sto­ries F1’s big­wigs would rather you didn’t know…

F1 Racing - - CONTENTS - DI­ETER RENCKEN

After a long wait, For­mula 1 has gone back to business as usual. Key is­sues that have lain un­re­solved while stake­hold­ers awaited the out­come of Bernie Ec­cle­stone’s Mu­nich trial can now be ad­dressed – apart from one. And that could be the big­gest prob­lem of all.

The back­story is well known; in 2012 Ger­hard Gribkowsky, a for­mer se­nior ex­ec­u­tive at Bay­ernLB, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years after be­ing con­victed of tax eva­sion, bribery and breach of duciary trust. The Ger­man pros­e­cu­tors claimed that Ec­cle­stone, via his fam­ily trust, had paid a sum in the re­gion of £30mil­lion to Gribkowsky. Ec­cle­stone, who de­nies bribery, main­tains he was “shaken down” by Gribkowsky over tax mat­ters; Gribkowsky claimed he was bribed to en­sure Bay­ernLB’s con­trol­ling stake in F1 was sold to an en­tity will­ing to keep Ec­cle­stone as CEO.

That stake was ac­quired by CVC Cap­i­tal Part­ners, a pri­vate eq­uity fund with a rep­u­ta­tion for wring­ing max­i­mum dol­lars out of in­vest­ments be­fore ex­it­ing, usu­ally via stock mar­ket list­ings.

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