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Banker arrested on bribery charges (merged)


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#51 WhiteBlue

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 15:18

Source SpeedTV
F1: Rights Sale Saga Worsens For Ecclestone
Details continue to emerge about F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone's possible role in a bribe scandal...

Bernie Ecclestone is the subject of ever-worsening claims about the sale of F1's commercial rights five years ago.

It has already been alleged that it was the sport's chief executive and long-time 'supremo' who paid German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky a mysterious $50 million kickback.

And the latest explosive details have been published by the German weekly Der Spiegel.

The report said F1's current owner CVC Capital Partners paid $837 million for the share of the rights that at the time was controlled by the Munich bank BayernLB.

But BayernLB reportedly only received $770 million.

Der Spiegel alleges that $40 million was received directly by Ecclestone, with the other $27m flowing to his family trust Bambino.


Chris Sylt has been very busy at Pitpass to show that the BayernLB shares were not undervalued, but he was using the figures reported for CVC's pay and not what BayerLB received. There was a difference of $90m between $860m and $770m in the different reports. So Griebkowski could well have pocketed 50m and Bernie another 40m.

If the old bugger falls over this affair I would not be sad. The good he did for the sport is more than compensated by the extortion scheme he runs on the race goers. It is time that prices for GP visits come down and the banks and private equity profits are reduced to a sensible level like 15% instead of 50%.

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#52 Gareth

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 16:18

Chris Sylt has been very busy at Pitpass to show that the BayernLB shares were not undervalued, but he was using the figures reported for CVC's pay and not what BayerLB received. There was a difference of $90m between $860m and $770m in the different reports. So Griebkowski could well have pocketed 50m and Bernie another 40m.

The other thing that Sylt misses is that JPM and Lehman's stakes were only effectively 28% of SLEC when combined, and individually only approx 14%. In addition, they held this in via an intermediary company, Speed Investments.

We know from EU filings shortly prior to the time of the takeover that Bayern gained sole control of Speed - see here: http://europa.eu/rap...;guiLanguage=en Sylt at the time spotted that filing and wrote a story claiming that Bayern had bought out JPM and Lehman - http://www.thisismon...mp;in_page_id=2 - which was of course incorrect.

The "acquisition of control" was not from a purchase of shares, but because a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the 3 banks expired. No longer fettered by the obligations in the MoU, Bayern were free to act as they wished in relation to their 62% holding in Speed - which of course gave them control of Speed, which in turn gave them complete control of the 75% stake in SLEC that was owned by Speed.

The result of all this is that the JPM and Lehman stakes in Speed gave them very little influence in SLEC, if any. Valuation is, of course, never an exact science but applying a premium to a controlling stake and a discount to a minority one is not at all uncommon. This could explain why the JPM and Lehman stakes were sold for lower values.

Interestingly, Sylt uses the argument that the fact that Bayern's stake was sold at a higher $ per % ($13m per 1%) than JPM and Lehman's ($10m per 1%) proves the Bayern stake was not undervalued. The accounts for Alpha Prema that he provides, though, demonstrate that Ecclestone sold Bambino's stake (the B shares in SLEC, representing 25%) for $19m per 1%. If he believes in his argument, surely he should actually accept that all the banks sold at an undervalue?

Lastly, he mentions that Bernie had nothing to gain from undervaluing the bank's stake as he was "never the buyer of the shares". My understanding was that as part of the deal Bernie (or at least Bambino) received both a cash out and an equity stake in the acquiring entity (or one of the acquiring entitities parents, in its labyrinth structure). So, again, that argument doesn't stack up to me.

I have no idea whether Bernie played a role in this or not, but I'm not buying the Sylt arguments that he definitely didn't.

#53 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 16:31

If the old bugger falls over this affair I would not be sad. The good he did for the sport is more than compensated by the extortion scheme he runs on the race goers. It is time that prices for GP visits come down and the banks and private equity profits are reduced to a sensible level like 15% instead of 50%.


You think with Bernie out suddenly CVC, who most of this profit goes to, is suddenly going to become benevolent?

#54 JockinSA

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 17:15

I wonder if there is a case here for putting the Racketeering laws into force. I would have thought that with all this money flying around, BE could have his holdings impounded till the case was sorted out. Then the FIA would have to suspend him pending the outcome of the enquiries.

There again I'm no lawyer, but that's what I understand all these RICA laws are all about.

#55 JPW

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 18:21

You think with Bernie out suddenly CVC, who most of this profit goes to, is suddenly going to become benevolent?

I was wondering about that too, it's probably someone who bought into the FOTA scam of only races on the traditional circuits, for the "real" fans and for el cheapo entrance fees. Right like that's gonna happen, ever. :lol:

There again I'm no lawyer, but that's what I understand all these RICA laws are all about.

Hmm they have RICA laws in Germany, Austria and the UK?

#56 Fastcake

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 18:56

I was wondering about that too, it's probably someone who bought into the FOTA scam of only races on the traditional circuits, for the "real" fans and for el cheapo entrance fees. Right like that's gonna happen, ever. :lol:


Indeed, if anything that supposed "FOTA championship" would have seen more races in the Middle-East and wherever else the money is, they would want just as much money as FOM makes, without the safety of an existing championship.


I also want to know where these cheap ticket prices will come from. Call me a cynic, but even if the hosting prices come down, the event organisers will happily rake in the extra cash they don't have to pay to Bernie.





#57 TriumphST

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 22:00

Well, things are moving on apace, not only have we got the bankers $50m bribe, now it's been reported that CVC having paid $1232m for Speed Investment's 75% of SLEC and another $478m to Eccleston's for his 25% share, they have reportedly discovered anomalies with some of those payments. What surprises me is how little interest there has been in the UK on this topic. The implications for F1 will mirror the Coulson affair here in the UK and this will rumble on till eventually all F1's dirty laundry will be laid bare. That dirty laundry will I suspect include in the first instance Bernie Ecclestone but also Max Mosley.

Essentially CVC thought they paid BayernLB $837m but only $770m made it to BayernLB, the balance of $67m was apparently diverted to an Ecclestone account and trust. So far there have been no figures relating to what Lehman Brothers or JP Morgan should have been paid by Ecclestone on behalf of CVC and what they actually received. Chris Sylt reporting elsewhere totally rejects Ecclestone's complicity in any wrongdoing, well I'm not convinced by his argument that Ecclestone had nothing to gain, take for instance what he was paid for his 25% share of SLEC. Where the banks received on average $11.65m/% Mr Ecclestone received $19.12m/% a staggering increase of 65% on what CVC paid the banks.

In addition Ecclestone seemingly pocketed the $67m supposed to have gone to BeyernBL as well as a 10% slice of the CVC fund that bought FOM, what value would you put on that, $400m+ and of course $478m for his 25% of SLEC.

So no motive, except money......

PS. Would this have been the source perhaps of Mosley's mysterious $300m after all those years of working for the FIA for nothing?

Edited by TriumphST, 08 February 2011 - 22:37.


#58 TriumphST

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 22:24

You think with Bernie out suddenly CVC, who most of this profit goes to, is suddenly going to become benevolent?


Might make no difference, what will worry both BE and CVC is the question hanging over their head's of having their total investment disappearing in a puff of smoke in the event of no Concorde Agreement for 2013. Couple that with a bar on the transfer of F1's 100-year commercial rights contract to a new holder now Mosley isn't there to rubber stamp the proposal, those issues will concentrate CVC's minds while strengthening the teams negotiating position.

Hopefully serve to redress the balance of power in F1 for the better.

#59 Rinehart

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 23:03

Well, things are moving on apace, not only have we got the bankers $50m bribe, now it's been reported that CVC having paid $1232m for Speed Investment's 75% of SLEC and another $478m to Eccleston's for his 25% share, they have reportedly discovered anomalies with some of those payments. What surprises me is how little interest there has been in the UK on this topic. The implications for F1 will mirror the Coulson affair here in the UK and this will rumble on till eventually all F1's dirty laundry will be laid bare. That dirty laundry will I suspect include in the first instance Bernie Ecclestone but also Max Mosley.

Essentially CVC thought they paid BayernLB $837m but only $770m made it to BayernLB, the balance of $67m was apparently diverted to an Ecclestone account and trust. So far there have been no figures relating to what Lehman Brothers or JP Morgan should have been paid by Ecclestone on behalf of CVC and what they actually received. Chris Sylt reporting elsewhere totally rejects Ecclestone's complicity in any wrongdoing, well I'm not convinced by his argument that Ecclestone had nothing to gain, take for instance what he was paid for his 25% share of SLEC. Where the banks received on average $11.65m/% Mr Ecclestone received $19.12m/% a staggering increase of 65% on what CVC paid the banks.

In addition Ecclestone seemingly pocketed the $67m supposed to have gone to BeyernBL as well as a 10% slice of the CVC fund that bought FOM, what value would you put on that, $400m+ and of course $478m for his 25% of SLEC.

So no motive, except money......

PS. Would this have been the source perhaps of Mosley's mysterious $300m after all those years of working for the FIA for nothing?


When its all over, I hope someone makes a bloody good film...

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#60 JPW

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 23:04

In addition Ecclestone seemingly pocketed the $67m supposed to have gone to BeyernBL as well as a 10% slice of the CVC fund that bought FOM, what value would you put on that, $400m+ and of course $478m for his 25% of SLEC.

PS. Would this have been the source perhaps of Mosley's mysterious $300m after all those years of working for the FIA for nothing?

Hmmm a lot of supposition, allegations and baseless rumours without any proof.
You better hope those you (falsely) accuse are in a forgiving spirit. :lol:

#61 TriumphST

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:25

Hmmm a lot of supposition, allegations and baseless rumours without any proof.
You better hope those you (falsely) accuse are in a forgiving spirit. :lol:


Let's see, we know BE has unspecified interest (supposedly10%) in the CVC fund IV that controls 100% of FOM because CVC tells us so and we also know it's worth in 2006 (at least $170m) if only because it cost $1.7b from its borrowings of 2006 to purchase SELC (including $4m professional fees). However since FOM was bought all the support business's (corporate hospitality, track advertising etc. are now owned by FOM) and when the 10-year fund is due to restructure (2016?) it will be dept free and worth how many $billions?

We also know CVC paid Bambino Holdings $478m for its 25% of SLEC as it's in a CVC document detailing the acquisition cost and as previously stated Bambino Holdings received 65% more per share then the banks ($1232m for 75% SLEC).

While it's true to say there's much we don't know but do we really need to see a dead rat or have the resources to prove it exists to be able to smell it. The German authorities are serious about this and have by all accounts seen enough to incarcerate Dr. Gribkowsky while awaiting trial and will as they say, "follow the money" to its source. CVC with $46b in management can't afford to be tainted by the illegal Machiavellian machinations of a second hand car-dealer. CVC will distance itself from what it see's as the day-to-day running of FOM but they, like Ecclestone and even Mosley, must be concerned.

Interesting to see what the German investigation unearths.

Edited by TriumphST, 09 February 2011 - 12:47.


#62 Gareth

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 16:13

Lastly, [Sylt] mentions that Bernie had nothing to gain from undervaluing the bank's stake as he was "never the buyer of the shares".

Just to pick up again on this, I found these links: http://ec.europa.eu/...20_20212_en.pdf and http://www.cvc.com/C...se.aspx?PRID=88

CVC will implement both transactions via two newly created companies, i.e. Alpha Prema UK Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Alpha Topco Limited (Topco). CVC owns […] of the shares of Topco, whereas the remainder is held by Bambino and the management of the Formula One Group.


The shareholders of Alpha Prema will be CVC Capital Partners ("CVC"), Bambino (through a reinvestment), Mr Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One management team. CVC will have a majority stake in Alpha Prema and a controlling interest in the Formula One Group. Bernie Ecclestone will remain as Chief Executive of the Formula One Group. [ie Bernie is part of the "Formula One management team" and therefore owns a share in Alpha Topco Limited]


Again, Sylt's assertion that Bernie was "never the buyer of the shares" looks pretty tenuous. I would expect Sylt to know that Bernie was effectively a shareholder in the buyer. If that's the case, why is he making the statement that Bernie was "never the buyer of the shares"?

Again, I am in no way advocating the proposition that Bernie did have a role in this. Just that I find Sylt's arguments that he didn't have a role unconvincing. I expect Bernie himself will have much stronger ones should he ever be required to make them by the press or any investigating authority.

#63 simplyfast

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 17:07

I'm guessing you don't have a mortgage, a credit card, or any kind of debt.

Still, this should be a fun thread. The ultimate combination of populist rage against banking and Bernie/CVC/FOM/etc/et al.



The only link is he was the CRO involved with two stock transfers one in one out.
Sorry to upset the haters but the deal had no direct connection involving Bernie/CVC/FOM
BE sold the shares to Thomas Haffa’s EM.TV. (hence BE no longer had any say over those shares and CVC had not brought them yet) when EM.TV. went bankrupt the shares were snapped up by Leo Kirch (so now they are in the hands of the second new owner after BE (more than enough distance for any court to throw out the haters claims here without needing to hear anything more) and only at this point does Gerhard Gribkowsky who was the the Chief Risk Officer of BayernLB become involved with the shares.
And lets not forget one more fact the haters dont like, this all happened between 2002 and 2005 not 2006.
But right now there is not any direct connection between the $50M and F1 except in the small minds of the haters.
Who knows in the future it could well be found that the $50M had far more to do with the $2.2 billion buy in to Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank or the further $2.5 billion cash injection or who knows it could be something to do with the $6.7 billion write down or even the $12.9 billion bail out.
I quote these figures to remind haters F1 is small fry when it comes to b(w)ankers
The fact is there is no proof that the $50 million was connected with F1 but please could the haters carry on ranting it makes me :lol:

#64 TriumphST

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 17:24

The only link is he was the CRO involved with two stock transfers one in one out.
Sorry to upset the haters but the deal had no direct connection involving Bernie/CVC/FOM
BE sold the shares to Thomas Haffa’s EM.TV. (hence BE no longer had any say over those shares and CVC had not brought them yet) when EM.TV. went bankrupt the shares were snapped up by Leo Kirch (so now they are in the hands of the second new owner after BE (more than enough distance for any court to throw out the haters claims here without needing to hear anything more) and only at this point does Gerhard Gribkowsky who was the the Chief Risk Officer of BayernLB become involved with the shares.
And lets not forget one more fact the haters dont like, this all happened between 2002 and 2005 not 2006.
But right now there is not any direct connection between the $50M and F1 except in the small minds of the haters.
Who knows in the future it could well be found that the $50M had far more to do with the $2.2 billion buy in to Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank or the further $2.5 billion cash injection or who knows it could be something to do with the $6.7 billion write down or even the $12.9 billion bail out.
I quote these figures to remind haters F1 is small fry when it comes to b(w)ankers
The fact is there is no proof that the $50 million was connected with F1 but please could the haters carry on ranting it makes me :lol:


On the point of selling the shares to EM-TV, BE retained 25% of the shares through Bambino Holdings (BE trust), only 75% of SLEC shares were sold to EM-TV who sold 63.9% on to Kirch retaining an 11.1% holding. So your premise is flawed BE has always maintained an interest till bought from him by CVC.

On your point, there was no link to BE/CVC/FOM....you wish! and I'll add Max Mosley to that list.

Finally, if you had read the 'Gareth' post you would have seen BE was in effect Chief Executive (and CVC partner) of Alpha Prema from November 2005 and undoubtedly in charge of the negotiations with BayernLB. Interestingly Gerhard Gribkowsky was also a board member of Alpha Prema at the time but Ecclestone was Chief Executive.

Edited by TriumphST, 09 February 2011 - 19:09.


#65 TriumphST

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 17:53

The other thing that Sylt misses is that JPM and Lehman's stakes were only effectively 28% of SLEC when combined, and individually only approx 14%. In addition, they held this in via an intermediary company, Speed Investments.

We know from EU filings shortly prior to the time of the takeover that Bayern gained sole control of Speed - see here: http://europa.eu/rap...;guiLanguage=en Sylt at the time spotted that filing and wrote a story claiming that Bayern had bought out JPM and Lehman - http://www.thisismon...mp;in_page_id=2 - which was of course incorrect.

The "acquisition of control" was not from a purchase of shares, but because a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the 3 banks expired. No longer fettered by the obligations in the MoU, Bayern were free to act as they wished in relation to their 62% holding in Speed - which of course gave them control of Speed, which in turn gave them complete control of the 75% stake in SLEC that was owned by Speed.

The result of all this is that the JPM and Lehman stakes in Speed gave them very little influence in SLEC, if any. Valuation is, of course, never an exact science but applying a premium to a controlling stake and a discount to a minority one is not at all uncommon. This could explain why the JPM and Lehman stakes were sold for lower values.

Interestingly, Sylt uses the argument that the fact that Bayern's stake was sold at a higher $ per % ($13m per 1%) than JPM and Lehman's ($10m per 1%) proves the Bayern stake was not undervalued. The accounts for Alpha Prema that he provides, though, demonstrate that Ecclestone sold Bambino's stake (the B shares in SLEC, representing 25%) for $19m per 1%. If he believes in his argument, surely he should actually accept that all the banks sold at an undervalue?

Lastly, he mentions that Bernie had nothing to gain from undervaluing the bank's stake as he was "never the buyer of the shares". My understanding was that as part of the deal Bernie (or at least Bambino) received both a cash out and an equity stake in the acquiring entity (or one of the acquiring entitities parents, in its labyrinth structure). So, again, that argument doesn't stack up to me.

I have no idea whether Bernie played a role in this or not, but I'm not buying the Sylt arguments that he definitely didn't.


Totally agree and reached the same conclusions independently but had I taken the trouble to read your post first I'd have saved myself some trouble.


#66 Gareth

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 18:20

the deal had no direct connection involving Bernie/CVC/FOM

This is incorrect: Bernie personally received shares in the parent of the acquiring entity as part of the deal; the Ecclestone family trust (Bambino) sold its shares in SLEC as part of the deal; the Ecclestone family trust (Bambino) received shares in the parent of the acquiring entity as part of the deal.

I agree with your points that Gribowskey was involved in a lot of other business, so this doesn't have to be linked to F1 at all, let alone to Ecclestone. Indeed, there is as yet nothing concretethat the payment was even dodgy, let alone (1) a dodgy payment (2) connected to F1 and (3) involving Bernie.

For what it's worth, De Spiegel puts forward the following to suggest that there was some connection with F1 (the translation is WhiteBlue's and, whilst I have no reason to doubt it's accuracy, thanks to my extremely poor German I can't confirm it) :

German source "Der Spiegel".

[...]

With an amazing coincidence of dates certain things happened at the same time. On 25th November 2005 Griebkowski's Austrian consulting company GGC was founded. It was the same day as the transaction of the F1 sale from Bayrische Landesbank to CVC*. Another funny coincidence is the founding date of the company Bridge Holding which transferred the funds to Griebkowski's consulting firm GGC. It was the 21st February 2006. One day later Griebkowski was made single acting director of the Ecclestone company Petara. In his role as Petara director Griebkowski could sign any deal without signature by another person.

*NB this isn't quite 100% accurate. It was the same day as the signing of a deal to transfer the shares conditional upon EU competition and FIA consent. The shares were actually transfered March 2006. Not that this makes a material difference to the point.

It will be interesting to see what additional details, if any, come out.

#67 Amphicar

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 18:39

I was wondering about that too, it's probably someone who bought into the FOTA scam of only races on the traditional circuits, for the "real" fans and for el cheapo entrance fees. Right like that's gonna happen, ever. :lol:


Hmm they have RICA laws in Germany, Austria and the UK?

I don't think there are direct equivalents to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in Europe, however, in the UK anti-terrorist legislation has been used against organised crime. I would expect most of Bernie's assets to be held "offshore" to minimise exposure to EU (and US) jurisdiction.


#68 jjcale

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 19:30

I don't think there are direct equivalents to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in Europe, however, in the UK anti-terrorist legislation has been used against organised crime. I would expect most of Bernie's assets to be held "offshore" to minimise exposure to EU (and US) jurisdiction.


Its not so much RICO that is relevant as the FCPA which effectively sets Anti-Corruption standards worldwide as of about the Mid 2000s (...UK has opted out for a little while now with a weak law but Germany takes its local version very seriously). And like the USA most countries take extraterritorial jurisdiction - even the UK with weakish laws had a prosecution of company for overseas corruption a couple of years ago just to show they could in order to save some face after the BAE Systems debacle.

The tools are there if governments want to go after misconduct (...you could argue that the tools always existed).... it is only the will that is missing. So far what has happened is that a few obvious wrong doers have been taken out to show the public that the laws work but there has not been much appetite to go further. In the States there was a guy who was prosecuting with vigour but he was bought off with a big private sector job. I am not sure what is going on in Germany but my friends there are seriously scared of the authorities over there since the Siemens debacle forced them to get tough.

I dont think anything will come of all this (these stories have been coming out since EMTV folded... without any drama) ....but I keep saying that we are in a new world since mid-2008.

As I said before, the F1 tragicomedy of Hoffa, Kirch, the various LB's, CVC, Ecclestone, the loan notes saga and all the opague offshore entities makes a tempting target for prosecutors who cant do anything to stop big things like naked shorting in the metal markets and governments of serious countires having their speads run up like they were in the third world through coordinated attacks. They can make a nice little high profile sacrifice to show that they are not totally irrelevant.

Edited by jjcale, 11 February 2011 - 13:12.


#69 JPW

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 20:44

I dont think anything will come of all this (these stories have been coming out since EMTV folded... without any drama) ....

Yep I kinda agree with you on that, we've seen many here (often inspired by that idiot Rubython) who have claimed that Bernie/CVC/FOM/FIA/Max would be brought to task only for nothing to happen.

I wouldn't put it beyond Bernie to have done a bit of creative wheeling and dealing in this matter but without solid proof/evidence it's all going to stay tin-foil hatter talk. Gribkowsky as a scapegoat and Bernie cs to live happily ever after. :lol:

#70 Gareth

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:13

Again, Sylt's assertion that Bernie was "never the buyer of the shares" looks pretty tenuous. I would expect Sylt to know that Bernie was effectively a shareholder in the buyer. If that's the case, why is he making the statement that Bernie was "never the buyer of the shares"?

Well, the contents of this thread seem to have got Mr Sylt's attention.

Sylt argues that at the date Alpha Prema agreed to the sale of Bayern's stake in Speed and Bambino's stake in SLEC (25 November 2005), Alpha Prema was not owned by Bernie or an entity connected to Bernie (eg Bambino). He evidences this by demonstrating that Alpha Prema was owned on 25 November 2005 by Alpha Topco which was, in turn, owned solely by CVC entities.

The facts of this are, I believe, all correct.

Sylt concludes from this that Bernie was not an effective shareholder in the Buyer. I would point out a few things:

1. Whilst contracts for the sale of Bayern's stake in Speed and Bambino's stake in SLEC were signed on 25 November 2005, from CVC's press releases we know they were conditional on FIA and EU Competition Commission consent. As a result of the time taken to satisfy these conditions, the sale of Bayern's stake in Speed and Bambino's stake in SLEC did not complete until 24 March 2006. We know this from the accounts of Alpha Prema.

2. Between 1 January 2006 and 24 March 2006, some movements occurred in the shareholdings of the companies involved. On 28 February 2006, Alpha Prema (the buyer) ceased to be owned by Alpha Topco and became owned by Alpha D2 Limited. Alpha D2 Limited was also owned by Alpha Topco until 24 March 2006 (the day the purchase completed) when it became owned by Alpha D1 SARL, a Luxemburg company.

3. Sadly, there the trail from company documents ends for me. I see Sylt has managed to get hold of Jersey documents, so perhaps he can get hold of the Alpha D1 SARL documents. What does seem clear, though, is that the ownership trail demonstrated by Sylt isn't the full picture as it only looks at ownership at the time of signing, not completion, of the deal.

4. In particular, Sylt gives us the annual return for Alpha Topco dated 1 January 2006. The EU filing I linked to earlier states:

7. CVC’s purchase of the shares in the holding company Speed combined with the purchase of the remaining shares in SLEC held by Bambino - both via its ownership of
[…] of the shares in Topco - provides it with sole control over SLEC within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004.

8. It follows from the investment and shareholders agreement of 9 January 2006, that the remaining shareholders in Topco, i.e. Bambino and the management of the Formula One Group do not obtain any veto rights which might provide them with joint control over Topco and/or SLEC.


5. Whilst Bernie may not have had a direct or indirect interest in Alpha Prema (the buyer) at the time of signing (25 November), it seems between then and closing the deal on 24 March 2006 he did gain such an interest - most likely on 9 January 2006.

6. There is also a possibility that the deal signed on 25 November contained commitments from a CVC entity to the granting of interests in the buyer to both FOM management and Bambino or that the discussions at the time envisaged this happening. I think it would be unlikely that the granting of such interests (seemingly, from the EU link) on 9 January would have come out of the blue and not been discussed at all prior to 25 November.

7. I think all of the above makes a decent case for Bernie being effectively a shareholder in the buyer.

Again, just to be very clear: I am not seeking to link in any way Bernie to the Gribowsky scandal. All of the above simply stems from a claim in a report that Bernie was not the buyer of the Bayern shares in SLEC which, to me, whilst technically true (he wasn't the buyer, Alpha Prema was) merely brushes the surface of the true position. It deserves more depth, IMO.

#71 JPW

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:02

Well, the contents of this thread seem to have got Mr Sylt's attention.

I guess now is payback time for all those free lunches Chris said he's had with Bernie.  ;)

Anyway I gave Sylt's "masterpiece" a try but really, I know Spitpass isn't the most well read F1 site but I don't think more than a handful of it's readers will completely read the textual diarrhoea he produced on this.

Like you said Sylt has probably some more information than you can dig up although from past experience I'd have much more faith in you coming to the right conclusion than him.
Who knows maybe you're on to something and one of these days a large cheque will come your way in exchange for your silence in this matter, that way you can quit the (cr@ppy) moderation job and happily retire on a sunny island. :lol:

PS for those in need of a good laugh this Friday:

Uninformed sceptics could foolishly claim that Sylt is biased since he is one of the only journalists worldwide who regularly meets Ecclestone for lunch.


Whilst we don't expect other websites to employ a business expert to analyse the material they publish, as we do here at Pitpass, they should be careful letting writers loose with comments, such as those linking Ecclestone to Bambino, in case they could attract his attention and that of his lawyers.


Lastly now that we're getting disclaimerish, nowhere do I suggest that Mr Ecclestone could/would be linked to the Gribkowsky-scandal and neither did the post I answered to.

#72 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:13

What credential makes you a business expert? Is it enough to write about business and be incorrect?

#73 TriumphST

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 14:58

I'm a little unsure if I should feel insulted or complimented by Mr Sylt's attentions but perhaps prior to passing comment he, with his vast experience should have done a little more homework.

Mr Sylt says:

"One reckless writer on the website says: "we know BE has unspecified interest (supposedly10%) in the CVC fund IV that controls 100% of FOM because CVC tells us so." Now that is news to Pitpass. Not only has CVC never made any statement suggesting that Ecclestone has any kind of interest in the fund which controls F1, but the identity of its investors is a secret safe in Luxembourg so there is an incredibly slim likelihood that the writer has managed to break through this firewall. Nevertheless, it hasn't stopped the website from publishing the claim and what a claim it is."


The following quote dated 25 November 2005 including the source does I think put the matter to rest.

CVC: http://www.cvc.com/C...se.aspx?PRID=88

"The shareholders of Alpha Prema will be CVC Capital Partners ("CVC"), Bambino (through a reinvestment), Mr Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One management team."

Maybe Luxembourg firewall's aren't all they're cracked up to be.......

Edited by TriumphST, 11 February 2011 - 15:42.


#74 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:15

Wait, so Pitpass is in rivalry with the Autosport bulletin board? Ouch :lol:

#75 JPW

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:39

I'm a little unsure if I should feel insulted or complimented by Mr Sylt's attentions..............

Oh well it's Sylt best to keep smiling, forget about it and live on.


#76 Gareth

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:05

I'm a little unsure if I should feel insulted or complimented by Mr Sylt's attentions but perhaps prior to passing comment he, with his vast experience should have done a little more homework.

Mr Sylt says:

"One reckless writer on the website says: "we know BE has unspecified interest (supposedly10%) in the CVC fund IV that controls 100% of FOM because CVC tells us so." Now that is news to Pitpass. Not only has CVC never made any statement suggesting that Ecclestone has any kind of interest in the fund which controls F1, but the identity of its investors is a secret safe in Luxembourg so there is an incredibly slim likelihood that the writer has managed to break through this firewall. Nevertheless, it hasn't stopped the website from publishing the claim and what a claim it is."


The following quote dated 25 November 2005 including the source does I think put the matter to rest.

CVC: http://www.cvc.com/C...se.aspx?PRID=88

"The shareholders of Alpha Prema will be CVC Capital Partners ("CVC"), Bambino (through a reinvestment), Mr Bernie Ecclestone and the Formula One management team."

Maybe Luxembourg firewall's aren't all they're cracked up to be.......

I think Sylt's point is that the CVC fund IV (which you reference in your post) is not the same as Alpha Prema (which is referenced in that quote) and whilst Ecclestone may now have a stake in the latter, he doesn't in the former.

I think that if you changed your post by substituting the words "the CVC fund IV" with "Alpha Prema" then the substance of your post isn't really altered and Sylt's criticisms of it disappear. I think it was fairly obvious that this was what you meant by your original post, too.

#77 TriumphST

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:38

I think Sylt's point is that the CVC fund IV (which you reference in your post) is not the same as Alpha Prema (which is referenced in that quote) and whilst Ecclestone may now have a stake in the latter, he doesn't in the former.

I think that if you changed your post by substituting the words "the CVC fund IV" with "Alpha Prema" then the substance of your post isn't really altered and Sylt's criticisms of it disappear. I think it was fairly obvious that this was what you meant by your original post, too.


Point taken, although I'm sure Mr Sylt was also aware that the omission of a tier within CVC structure made no material difference to the point that was being made.


#78 Risil

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 19:36

Wait, so Pitpass is in rivalry with the Autosport bulletin board? Ouch :lol:


Quite.

Incidentally I usually rate my abilities of reading comprehension to be quite high, but I couldn't make anything out of Mr Sylt's article beyond having a go at TriumphST and, er, Der Spiegel. Also he said that Bernie Ecclestone is in no way legally linked to his family's holdings, which as far as I know only tells half the story. If his family has a significant holding in his Formula One business, isn't he liable to be accused of being a 'shadow director' or somesuch?

Joe Saward's usually quite good at explaining these business-y things, but so far he's been holding his fire. Presumably until the fruits of the German government's investigations become public knowledge.

#79 JPW

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 15:46

Interesting so now BayernLB allegedly paid $40 + $27 million to Bernie & Bambino, here's the original article from the Sueddeutsche:

http://www.sueddeuts...uerei-1.1059088

Still only more allegations and suspicions but no hard evidence of wrongdoing by Bernie or his companies, I guess if everybody stays tight-lipped then this will all blow over with maybe only Gribkowsky doing some "hard" time.

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#80 TriumphST

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 19:48

Interesting so now BayernLB allegedly paid $40 + $27 million to Bernie & Bambino, here's the original article from the Sueddeutsche:

http://www.sueddeuts...uerei-1.1059088

Still only more allegations and suspicions but no hard evidence of wrongdoing by Bernie or his companies, I guess if everybody stays tight-lipped then this will all blow over with maybe only Gribkowsky doing some "hard" time.


Gribkowsky seems key, but resolutely uncooperative at least according the media. The prospect of any additional time to a 53-year old who's enjoyed the good life will concentrate the mind, it would mine, so I expect him to come around, assuming there's a case to answer..

I'd imagine as soon as CVC realise there's something amiss they'll jettison BE and do it sooner rather then later. CVC's business may not operate at the ethical end of the spectrum but it is reputation led. In a sense you have to feel they brought it on themselves after all they knew what they getting with BE.

Edited by TriumphST, 12 February 2011 - 20:00.


#81 JPW

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 20:13

Gribkowsky seems key, but resolutely uncooperative at least according the media. The prospect of any additional time to a 53-year old who's enjoyed the good life will concentrate the mind, it would mine, so I expect him to come around, assuming there's a case to answer..

So now it's hoping mr. Gribkowsky will roll on others (if anyone) who is involved?
Good luck to the German prosecutors then because it wouldn't surprise me if Gribkowsky keeps his mouth shut, does bit of (semi) hard time and lives happily ever after with undetected millions in the bank.

Bernie? He'll laugh about it, once they figure this scheme out (IF that is) he'll be 187 or very dead. :lol:

#82 TriumphST

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 22:02

So now it's hoping mr. Gribkowsky will roll on others (if anyone) who is involved?
Good luck to the German prosecutors then because it wouldn't surprise me if Gribkowsky keeps his mouth shut, does bit of (semi) hard time and lives happily ever after with undetected millions in the bank.

Bernie? He'll laugh about it, once they figure this scheme out (IF that is) he'll be 187 or very dead. :lol:


Bet he's not laughing at the moment.

#83 JPW

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 23:27

Bet he's not laughing at the moment.

Dunno Trumpy, last time I saw Bernie he was all smiles and happy but maybe you know more?

#84 TriumphST

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 09:49

Dunno Trumpy, last time I saw Bernie he was all smiles and happy but maybe you know more?

No, but I'm reminded of the Coulson affair that has some similarities, Murdock isn't laughing as NI's crisis deepens and I don't suppose BE is either or more importently CVC. Of course you're right on remaining tight lipped, problem for any co-conspititiors is Gribkowsky will lose his $50m if he can't explain where it came from, in which case he and no-one else is on to a lose-lose: jail time and penury.
Of course if it was the Cosa Nostra Girbkowsky would be made and looked after, the problem with that scenario is there has to be implicit trust or an unbreakable contract, both I'd suggest unthinkable so all they might have to cling to is what to do for the common good. It's almost a classic prisoners dilemma.

Now if you were in the bankers shoe's wouldn't you be weighting up your options?

Two things are undeniable, the issue isn't going away (anymore then it has for Murdock), and CVC/BE aren't laughing.

Edited by TriumphST, 13 February 2011 - 14:44.


#85 D.M.N.

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 19:09

Anyone care to elaborate? Not sure what (if anything) this means.

SkyNewsBreak
Sky sources: Board of Formula 1 launches an investigation into payments relating to sale in 2006.
6 minutes ago

EDIT: Also on their breaking news ticker - F1 owner Delta Topco hires Ernst & Young and Freshfields to run enquiry.

Edited by D.M.N., 15 February 2011 - 19:11.


#86 Villes Gilleneuve

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 19:11

Did they keep the receipt?



#87 F1EC

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 19:13

Is this the one that Joe Saward's been talking about? This was his latest on it, but he's covered it quite a bit :

http://joesaward.wor...ies-in-germany/

#88 Mandzipop

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 20:13

Pitpass, an F1 news website, reported at the weekend that Gribkowsky has been in a Munich prison since his arrest last month although I am not clear whether this is still the case.

http://blogs.news.sk...42-fe3f1466c141

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Sky News using pitpass as a source.

I think I've seen it all now.

#89 The Ragged Edge

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 20:28

Another semi-internal investigation, by just as corrupt auditors. The same auditors who allowed the banks to hide off books/shore toxic debts. Anybody who understands the symbiotic role big auditors have with big business, will have zero faith in this investigation. The outcome is pre-determined.

#90 JPW

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 20:33

Pitpass, an F1 news website, reported at the weekend that Gribkowsky has been in a Munich prison since his arrest last month although I am not clear whether this is still the case.

Funny they might as well have said "Pitpass, some fat dude who blogs from his bedroom reported............." :lol:
Maybe I'll add that to the comments at Sky News later.  ;)

Anyway interesting if the news regarding the investigation is true but not really a surprise as CVC would want themselves covered from all sides.
Outcome of the investigation: "it was all Gribkowsky"!! :lol:

#91 Kompressor

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 21:52

Those greedy people must think that they are going to live long enough to spend all that money.

#92 TriumphST

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 10:06

Another semi-internal investigation, by just as corrupt auditors. The same auditors who allowed the banks to hide off books/shore toxic debts. Anybody who understands the symbiotic role big auditors have with big business, will have zero faith in this investigation. The outcome is pre-determined.



I think a brief to audit is somewhat different to what in this case should be a more forensic investigation. The auditor takes the information given to compile the report and any errors in the accounts can be blamed on deliberately withheld or incomplete data. The same get-out won't be available to the Ernst & Young team who like CVC will be anxious too ensure their integerty isn't tainted.

Question is, are CVC worried because they know something, after all if they were absolutely sure neither they nor their associates were complicit, wouldn't they leave it to the relevant authorities to complete their investigations and exonerate them?

This has something of a pre-emptive strike about it. CVC are probably positioning themselves to suspend or sack Ecclestone prior to Gribkowsky's trial and possibly damaging revelations involving F1. CVC have a lot riding on F1 over the next few years and won't want the boat rocked by a scandal that can be traced back to their door via proxies they engaged.

Edited by TriumphST, 16 February 2011 - 10:43.


#93 jjcale

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 11:15

Anyone care to elaborate? Not sure what (if anything) this means.

SkyNewsBreak
Sky sources: Board of Formula 1 launches an investigation into payments relating to sale in 2006.
6 minutes ago

EDIT: Also on their breaking news ticker - F1 owner Delta Topco hires Ernst & Young and Freshfields to run enquiry.


Means they are gonna get their lawyers and accountants to do a whitewash internal report .... and they think that they are going to have to respond to the authorities... so they need to get their story straight and written down all in one place so everyone can stay on message.

BTW this will not be the first time that this kind of report has had to be written re the various tansfers of the interest in the F1 rights that are now owned by CVC.... putting all of them together might make a fun book some day.

#94 jjcale

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 11:19

I think a brief to audit is somewhat different to what in this case should be a more forensic investigation. The auditor takes the information given to compile the report and any errors in the accounts can be blamed on deliberately withheld or incomplete data. The same get-out won't be available to the Ernst & Young team who like CVC will be anxious too ensure their integerty isn't tainted.

Question is, are CVC worried because they know something, after all if they were absolutely sure neither they nor their associates were complicit, wouldn't they leave it to the relevant authorities to complete their investigations and exonerate them?

This has something of a pre-emptive strike about it. CVC are probably positioning themselves to suspend or sack Ecclestone prior to Gribkowsky's trial and possibly damaging revelations involving F1. CVC have a lot riding on F1 over the next few years and won't want the boat rocked by a scandal that can be traced back to their door via proxies they engaged.

...not necessarilly this a report like this is standard proceedure when this kind of allegation arises.... telling the world that an investigation is going on is the thing that is unusual... probably just a normal leak... F1 is newsworthy afterall.

Ecclestone is unsackable BTW.... he has to decide to walk... which could happen but it would need this to get a lot more serious...

#95 Slowinfastout

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 11:25

Outcome of the investigation: "it was all Gribkowsky"!! :lol:


Yep.. they'll pin it all on that guy, and as you say he will probably have to eat whatever is on the plate for a short amount of time, before being able to unlock his hidden treasure chest and laugh it off for the remainder of his life.

#96 TriumphST

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 11:42

...not necessarilly this a report like this is standard proceedure when this kind of allegation arises.... telling the world that an investigation is going on is the thing that is unusual... probably just a normal leak... F1 is newsworthy afterall.

Ecclestone is unsackable BTW.... he has to decide to walk... which could happen but it would need this to get a lot more serious...


Graveyard's are full of the indispensable and those thought to be "unsackable".

Perhaps I should have said, "I hope the investigation will be more forensic" certainly there's significant differences between general auditing and one carried out where fraud is suspected.

#97 Gareth

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:10

Interesting article that does a decent job of summarising the main stories and statements to date: http://www.bloomberg...ecclestone.html

#98 jjcale

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 13:15

Graveyard's are full of the indispensable and those thought to be "unsackable".

Perhaps I should have said, "I hope the investigation will be more forensic" certainly there's significant differences between general auditing and one carried out where fraud is suspected.


He's not indispensible, he's unsackable... its a partnership and he's one of the partners. Getting rid of him might mean having to buy him out.

#99 Watkins74

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 13:19

Interesting article that does a decent job of summarising the main stories and statements to date: http://www.bloomberg...ecclestone.html

:up: Thanks, that is a good article.

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#100 TriumphST

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 13:22

He's not indispensible, he's unsackable... its a partnership and he's one of the partners. Getting rid of him might mean having to buy him out.


He's a shareholder and a minority one at that, if CVC decide to get rid of him they can.