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Banker arrested on bribery charges (merged)


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#101 JPW

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 14:08

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.

Well that would be the most convenient outcome for many of the parties involved.  ;)


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#102 pup

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 14:40

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


Strangely refreshing to read an article on F1 finances that's been written by actual journalists.

#103 TriumphST

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 15:00

Well that would be the most convenient outcome for many of the parties involved. ;)


Obviously you're not including the three bank's that lost a minimum $300m between them on the capital return of their investment?

#104 JPW

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 17:52

Obviously you're not including the three bank's that lost a minimum $300m between them on the capital return of their investment?

Well one could think of a few reasons why it could be convenient for the Bayerische Landesbank if the buck stops with Gribkowsky, Leo Kirch not being the least of those.

#105 jjcale

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 18:37

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


TBH I'm not even sure that the entity that matters is a company and not some other corporate form... it may not be as straightforward as you think.

Anyway, history's guide is that it's more likely he would buy them out than vice versa.... that business is worth a lot less to them without him.

#106 TriumphST

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 10:49

Well one could think of a few reasons why it could be convenient for the Bayerische Landesbank if the buck stops with Gribkowsky, Leo Kirch not being the least of those.


Poor Leo has a point, only a couple of years before CVC the valuation was $2-4b, a year or two after was worth$5-7b. Probably right to question valuation of 2005 or even why there wasn't one.

However if BayernLB wanted a quiet life would they sue Gribkowsky for $200m.


#107 JPW

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 18:32

However if BayernLB wanted a quiet life would they sue Gribkowsky for $200m.

All the more indication that it's maybe more convenient for many involved, including the Bayrische, to pin all this on Gribkowsky. :lol:

#108 TriumphST

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:10

All the more indication that it's maybe more convenient for many involved, including the Bayrische, to pin all this on Gribkowsky. :lol:

More an indication that they will resolutely pursue every avenue to recoup their losses, beginning with Gribkowsky...If BE/CVC is implicated they'll expect to be the subject of BayernLB's attention.

If there are others implicated and there has to be, Gribkowsky isn't going to roll over and serve their time as well as his own.

Edited by TriumphST, 19 February 2011 - 08:15.


#109 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:19

Depends. If he took one bribe why not another :p

#110 JPW

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 15:34

This story gets weirder every week, according to Der Spiegel was Gribkowsky so scared of Bernie Ecclestone that he hired bodyguards to protect himself in 2005 and also (or until) more recently just before he was arrested.

Also allegedly other parties had offered less for the BayernLB F1 share than CVC did, an indication that those indeed weren't sold too cheap confirming what Ecclestone has said before.

'Spiegel': Ex-BayernLB-Banker engagierte Bodyguards



#111 Risil

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 17:12

What was it that Bernie told Susan Watkins? "I've hurt people"?

#112 JPW

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 17:53

What was it that Bernie told Susan Watkins? "I've hurt people"?

Yes that's in her book although it pertained more to Bernie hurting folk in the business sense of things, poor Gribkowsky was allegedly more afraid of physical harm.

#113 New Britain

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 21:06

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

Not necessarily. It would all depend on the terms of the contracts and share holding.
Bernie could have a "golden share" (proportion of votes exceeding proportion of economic ownership), he could be, literally, unsackable, ownership could be in a trust with beneficiaries different from trustees - we don't know.

#114 jjcale

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 21:19

Not necessarily. It would all depend on the terms of the contracts and share holding.
Bernie could have a "golden share" (proportion of votes exceeding proportion of economic ownership), he could be, literally, unsackable, ownership could be in a trust with beneficiaries different from trustees - we don't know.


This is what I was getting at...

#115 TriumphST

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 16:04

Not necessarily. It would all depend on the terms of the contracts and share holding.
Bernie could have a "golden share" (proportion of votes exceeding proportion of economic ownership), he could be, literally, unsackable, ownership could be in a trust with beneficiaries different from trustees - we don't know.


This is what I was getting at...


Point taken, it appears that the implication is that BE is somehow un-sackable (even if guilty of corruption), by virtue of some speculative special arrangement with CVC, if that's the case it's a first for me.

One might question why use a 'Golden Share' to safeguard someone's job when a simple employment contract would suffice and be cheaper. Wouldn't investors seriously question the credibility of a company that would ransom a $7b enterprise to a 5% shareholder. Knowing a little of the distrust that exists in financial circles, that scenario is frankly ludicrous and even more so if it involved BE.
I daresay in the event of Ecclestone's implication in the Gribkowsky scandal he'll be unceremoniously sacked and probably sued by CVC (assuming they're not implicated).
CVC won't countenance being tainted by corruption of BE's making. Furthermore BE's recent performance on Bahrain will only have served to further devalue his stock with CVC so I'd expect to see a change sooner rather then later.

BE's holding of about 5% in Alpha Prema/Delta Topco is widely reported, and given CVC's intent of maximising their investment in the shortest period I can't see why they would tie their own hands and make the planned disposal of F1 less attractive to prospective buyers by having BE control FOM/Delta Topco through his "Golden Share", it makes no business sense and devalues their investment. Are they that stupid, in a word no.
Furthermore would CVC wish to find themselves manipulated by BE as were the banks were when they found themselves outvoted in the F1 control war before Ecclestone capitulated to Gribkowsky prior to the case coming before a judge and ceding FOM control to JPM. Lehman and Bayern, I think not.

Regarding the 'Golden Share' theory, in the UK my only recollection of a "Golden Share" was "Sid's" British Gas plc flotation in the eighties, there was another case of Qinetiq a defence contractor in the noughties I think. In any event their use is exclusively confined to governments when some asset disposal plans raises questions concerning national interest i.e. the company servicing the Trident fleet being bought by a Iranian/Chinese capital fund

"Legitimate public interest" is the litmus test for their use, if only because any other use has been banned in the EU (and probably every other stockmarket) for several years. Personally I can't see FOM/Delta Topco being able to satisfy that criteria.

Edited by TriumphST, 22 February 2011 - 16:20.


#116 jjcale

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 17:01

Point taken, it appears that the implication is that BE is somehow un-sackable (even if guilty of corruption), by virtue of some speculative special arrangement with CVC, if that's the case it's a first for me.

One might question why use a 'Golden Share' to safeguard someone's job when a simple employment contract would suffice and be cheaper. Wouldn't investors seriously question the credibility of a company that would ransom a $7b enterprise to a 5% shareholder. Knowing a little of the distrust that exists in financial circles, that scenario is frankly ludicrous and even more so if it involved BE.
I daresay in the event of Ecclestone's implication in the Gribkowsky scandal he'll be unceremoniously sacked and probably sued by CVC (assuming they're not implicated).
CVC won't countenance being tainted by corruption of BE's making. Furthermore BE's recent performance on Bahrain will only have served to further devalue his stock with CVC so I'd expect to see a change sooner rather then later.

BE's holding of about 5% in Alpha Prema/Delta Topco is widely reported, and given CVC's intent of maximising their investment in the shortest period I can't see why they would tie their own hands and make the planned disposal of F1 less attractive to prospective buyers by having BE control FOM/Delta Topco through his "Golden Share", it makes no business sense and devalues their investment. Are they that stupid, in a word no.
Furthermore would CVC wish to find themselves manipulated by BE as were the banks were when they found themselves outvoted in the F1 control war before Ecclestone capitulated to Gribkowsky prior to the case coming before a judge and ceding FOM control to JPM. Lehman and Bayern, I think not.

Regarding the 'Golden Share' theory, in the UK my only recollection of a "Golden Share" was "Sid's" British Gas plc flotation in the eighties, there was another case of Qinetiq a defence contractor in the noughties I think. In any event their use is exclusively confined to governments when some asset disposal plans raises questions concerning national interest i.e. the company servicing the Trident fleet being bought by a Iranian/Chinese capital fund

"Legitimate public interest" is the litmus test for their use, if only because any other use has been banned in the EU (and probably every other stockmarket) for several years. Personally I can't see FOM/Delta Topco being able to satisfy that criteria.


Good analysis but think more offshore trust and less golden share... companies are too transparent for this kind of thing.

Also remember that the bank's/CVC's interest in F1 is just to flip it. Once the loan is paid/enough equity is built up they will sell it on. They dont have any interest in long term ownership.... and who is to say the next lot that they sell it to wont pursue the same leveraged buyout strategy. Decent sized companies regularly pass from the hand of one fund to another these days...

#117 TriumphST

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:33

Good analysis but think more offshore trust and less golden share... companies are too transparent for this kind of thing.

Also remember that the bank's/CVC's interest in F1 is just to flip it. Once the loan is paid/enough equity is built up they will sell it on. They dont have any interest in long term ownership.... and who is to say the next lot that they sell it to wont pursue the same leveraged buyout strategy. Decent sized companies regularly pass from the hand of one fund to another these days...


It was BE's sackability that was being discussed or have I missed something.


#118 New Britain

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 14:47

Point taken, it appears that the implication is that BE is somehow un-sackable (even if guilty of corruption), by virtue of some speculative special arrangement with CVC, if that's the case it's a first for me.

One might question why use a 'Golden Share' to safeguard someone's job when a simple employment contract would suffice and be cheaper. Wouldn't investors seriously question the credibility of a company that would ransom a $7b enterprise to a 5% shareholder. Knowing a little of the distrust that exists in financial circles, that scenario is frankly ludicrous and even more so if it involved BE.
I daresay in the event of Ecclestone's implication in the Gribkowsky scandal he'll be unceremoniously sacked and probably sued by CVC (assuming they're not implicated).
CVC won't countenance being tainted by corruption of BE's making. Furthermore BE's recent performance on Bahrain will only have served to further devalue his stock with CVC so I'd expect to see a change sooner rather then later.

BE's holding of about 5% in Alpha Prema/Delta Topco is widely reported, and given CVC's intent of maximising their investment in the shortest period I can't see why they would tie their own hands and make the planned disposal of F1 less attractive to prospective buyers by having BE control FOM/Delta Topco through his "Golden Share", it makes no business sense and devalues their investment. Are they that stupid, in a word no.
Furthermore would CVC wish to find themselves manipulated by BE as were the banks were when they found themselves outvoted in the F1 control war before Ecclestone capitulated to Gribkowsky prior to the case coming before a judge and ceding FOM control to JPM. Lehman and Bayern, I think not.

Regarding the 'Golden Share' theory, in the UK my only recollection of a "Golden Share" was "Sid's" British Gas plc flotation in the eighties, there was another case of Qinetiq a defence contractor in the noughties I think. In any event their use is exclusively confined to governments when some asset disposal plans raises questions concerning national interest i.e. the company servicing the Trident fleet being bought by a Iranian/Chinese capital fund

"Legitimate public interest" is the litmus test for their use, if only because any other use has been banned in the EU (and probably every other stockmarket) for several years. Personally I can't see FOM/Delta Topco being able to satisfy that criteria.

The most polite way of replying is to say that the way these things work is possibly different from what you think.
The rules regarding governance of a publicly traded company and those for a private one are not the same. For a private one, you can set up pretty much whatever structure you like, with voting rights being distinct from economic rights. You can have classes of shares. You can have a trust, so that the beneficiary gets all the economics but the trustee makes all the decisions. This is before we get into whether Alpha Prema is even domiciled in a place within EU jurisdiction.

I'm not saying that Bernie has a disproportionate vote. I don't know. Above, I was just responding to someone's comment that he could be sacked whenever CVC felt like it. That is possible, but it is far from inevitable.
From the beginning of CVC's ownership, it has been clear that Bernie was much more involved, and at least behaved as if he had a lot more discretionary power, than one would expect in a guy who owned less than 10% of something that was 90% owned by a single, unrelated party with considerable business experience. It would indeed be surprising if CVC and he had not worked together to enable the former to buy the banks' stake at the lowest possible price. It furthermore would make sense for CVC to view him as being essential to their maximising their return from the purchase, which idea of course he himself would have pitched from the beginning. Some part of that may well have included an employment guarantee. It could even have included a differential ownership structure, in order for him to be able to ensure his status.
At the time CVC made their purchases, and of course more recently in light of the Gribkowsky rumours, it seemed the CVC were able to purchase their stake for a very attractive price. In order to be in that position, they might well have got assistance from people with a great deal of F1-specific insight and credibility.
CVC have more than enough of a track record, and a sufficient breadth of investors, not to worry about being second-guessed in their choice of Bernie as the manager/head honcho/dictator of the property.
You speak of "knowing a little of the distrust that exists in financial circles...." Perhaps that is something you heard about, rather than experienced first-hand? At the level at which Bernie and CVC operate, there is very little distrust of the kind that you imply - double-crossing, deceit, etc. It is that sort of thing, not a misjudgment about who should be the COO, that alienates investors and can destroy a reputation for life. These guys try to out-think each other - that's part of the fun - but betrayal is very, very rare.
You bring up the control dispute between Bernie and the banks. That's a fair point. What is critical to keep in mind is that Bernie did not choose them as partners, he inherited them. One suspects that he also had little respect for them after they had stupidly overextended their lending to Kirch, and ended up with a big stake in something about which they knew nothing. For Bernie, out-foxing these big banks regarding who called the shots was just part of the game. Three humongous international banks versus the little guy from Essex - that's meat and drink to Bernie.
It's obvious that CVC and Bernie want to maximise their individual RORs. It's also obvious that CVC and Bernie have been working closely together. If there is a mechanism by which Bernie cannot be sacked (he has said that there is, and I believe it), CVC would not have blundered into it. Rather, that would have been part of the tradeoff they made to secure his undivided attention on their property.

#119 jjcale

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 15:38

It was BE's sackability that was being discussed or have I missed something.


Yes... think more offshore trust and less golden share.

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#120 TriumphST

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 21:57

Yes... think more offshore trust and less golden share.


Perhaps thinking more that CVC investigations have unearthed sufficient evidence to link Ecclestone to Gribkowsky is more productive then rushing blindly down your 'Trust alleys'.

Maybe thats why CVC are seeking someone reportedly Sir Stuart Rose, “about a senior role at the helm” of F1.

#121 jjcale

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 16:01

Perhaps thinking more that CVC investigations have unearthed sufficient evidence to link Ecclestone to Gribkowsky is more productive then rushing blindly down your 'Trust alleys'.

Maybe thats why CVC are seeking someone reportedly Sir Stuart Rose, “about a senior role at the helm” of F1.


Even if you are right... they still need to be able to sack him ... or do you think the legal framework is irrelevant and CVC can simply do as it pleases???

Also, even if CVC found evidence - as you speculate... what are the going do with it/about it??? do you seriously expect them to shop him to the Germans?

Also, even if for some reason Ecclestone agreed to go... the right legal framework could mean that he still retains power in the background - like Dennis "stepping down" at Macca. Also remember that the "independent" chairman at Macca served for a period of time and then departed.... is Rose or anyone else being lined up to be CEO or a figleaf "independent" chairman??? ... assuming that that is even true.






#122 Amphicar

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 16:42

Even if you are right... they still need to be able to sack him ... or do you think the legal framework is irrelevant and CVC can simply do as it pleases???

Also, even if CVC found evidence - as you speculate... what are the going do with it/about it??? do you seriously expect them to shop him to the Germans?

Also, even if for some reason Ecclestone agreed to go... the right legal framework could mean that he still retains power in the background - like Dennis "stepping down" at Macca. Also remember that the "independent" chairman at Macca served for a period of time and then departed.... is Rose or anyone else being lined up to be CEO or a figleaf "independent" chairman??? ... assuming that that is even true.

Bernie Ecclestone has achieved many things but I'm pretty certain that immortality isn't one of them. Given his age I'd be astonished if CVC weren't actively working on succession planning anyway, even without the Gribkowsky business. I don't imagine they are planning to simply write off the commercial rights in 2012 so they will need someone to mind the store when Bernie falls off his perch.

#123 jjcale

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 18:43

Bernie Ecclestone has achieved many things but I'm pretty certain that immortality isn't one of them. Given his age I'd be astonished if CVC weren't actively working on succession planning anyway, even without the Gribkowsky business. I don't imagine they are planning to simply write off the commercial rights in 2012 so they will need someone to mind the store when Bernie falls off his perch.


What's this got to do with whether Ecclestone is sackable? or the terms of the partnership between him and CVC?

#124 Amphicar

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 19:36

What's this got to do with whether Ecclestone is sackable? or the terms of the partnership between him and CVC?

I was responding to TriumphST's comment "Maybe thats why CVC are seeking someone reportedly Sir Stuart Rose, “about a senior role at the helm” of F1." and your comment: "Also, even if for some reason Ecclestone agreed to go... the right legal framework could mean that he still retains power in the background - like Dennis "stepping down" at Macca. Also remember that the "independent" chairman at Macca served for a period of time and then departed.... is Rose or anyone else being lined up to be CEO or a figleaf "independent" chairman??? ... assuming that that is even true."



Edited by Amphicar, 13 March 2011 - 19:39.


#125 jjcale

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 19:49

I was responding to TriumphST's comment "Maybe thats why CVC are seeking someone reportedly Sir Stuart Rose, “about a senior role at the helm” of F1." and your comment: "Also, even if for some reason Ecclestone agreed to go... the right legal framework could mean that he still retains power in the background - like Dennis "stepping down" at Macca. Also remember that the "independent" chairman at Macca served for a period of time and then departed.... is Rose or anyone else being lined up to be CEO or a figleaf "independent" chairman??? ... assuming that that is even true."


OK - the best example is probably Morrisons. The cityboys levered the old man out and it was a disaster. Same thing could happen to F1.

Anyway, its ironic to see Stuart "I dont want no frickin Chairman above me" Rose reportedly being lined up for “a senior role at the helm” which I presume means "figleaf" chairman since he cant possibly be a CEO of something as specialised as F1 ... its got nothing in common with selling ladies underwear does it?

... I dont believe anything I read in the press in this country. If its really true you'll might about. If its BS you'll definitely read about it.

#126 Amphicar

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 20:02

OK - the best example is probably Morrisons. The cityboys levered the old man out and it was a disaster. Same thing could happen to F1.

Anyway, its ironic to see Stuart "I dont want no frickin Chairman above me" Rose reportedly being lined up for “a senior role at the helm” which I presume means "figleaf" chairman since he cant possibly be a CEO of something as specialised as F1 ... its got nothing in common with selling ladies underwear does it?

... I dont believe anything I read in the press in this country. If its really true you'll might about. If its BS you'll definitely read about it.

I agree with you - but CVC will have to find a replacement for Bernie fairly soon - not just a brass plate figurehead but somebody who knows how the business works and where the bodies are buried (hopefully just metaphorically speaking). Re underwear salesman - Flavio Briatore and Dany Bahar were t-shirt salesmen. Hmm - guess I've just proved your point!

#127 jjcale

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 20:19

I agree with you - but CVC will have to find a replacement for Bernie fairly soon - not just a brass plate figurehead but somebody who knows how the business works and where the bodies are buried (hopefully just metaphorically speaking). Re underwear salesman - Flavio Briatore and Dany Bahar were t-shirt salesmen. Hmm - guess I've just proved your point!


As Sir Frank said... Flavio would not recognize a double diffuser even if it was stuffed with money!!


Anyway my prediction is that CVC will be gone before Ecclestone... their plan is to service the debt (which they are doing) and wait for equity appreciation. As soon as the economy turns up and they can find a greater fool they will sell up and take their profit... and I dont think it is in their power to get rid of him.

This "succession planning" (if its even going on) is just keep the value of their investment up - since cityboys care about these sorts things - rather than as a hedge against Ecclestone falling to zero overnight since they probably realise that he cant be replaced by a single person .... anyway, they dont really give a monkey's... and they might just put in someone like Sturt Rose to do a sales job for them since he's the kind of guy who would appeal the greater fools that they would want to sell out to.... remember - all the cityboys thought getting rid of the old man at Morrisons was exactly the right thing to do. Those guys would see Ecclestone as a liability (instead of realising that he is one of the main assets).

Edited by jjcale, 13 March 2011 - 20:19.


#128 Slartibartfast

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 02:07

Anyway, its ironic to see Stuart "I dont want no frickin Chairman above me" Rose reportedly being lined up for “a senior role at the helm” which I presume means "figleaf" chairman since he cant possibly be a CEO of something as specialised as F1 ... its got nothing in common with selling ladies underwear does it?

They seem to have a similar amount on display...


Posted ImagePosted Image

#129 TriumphST

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 14:59

Slartibartfast:

Unfortunatly the links don't work....been trying 'View all Lingerie' to no avail.

#130 TriumphST

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 13:47

Even if you are right... they still need to be able to sack him ... or do you think the legal framework is irrelevant and CVC can simply do as it pleases???

Also, even if CVC found evidence - as you speculate... what are the going do with it/about it??? do you seriously expect them to shop him to the Germans?

Also, even if for some reason Ecclestone agreed to go... the right legal framework could mean that he still retains power in the background - like Dennis "stepping down" at Macca. Also remember that the "independent" chairman at Macca served for a period of time and then departed.... is Rose or anyone else being lined up to be CEO or a figleaf "independent" chairman??? ... assuming that that is even true.


Reports, speculative of course, but reiterated by SKY, Telegraph and the Times that German Prosecutors wish to question Ecclestone and that he has sought to appoint german lawyers, seems to suggest that a pre-emptive strike by CVC may be on the cards, based on what they may have discovered but not seen fit to publish allied to reports of a new chairman being sought. This story isn't dying, nor is Ecclestone suing.

As previously opined Gribkowsky incarcerated for over two months now is unlikely to be so altruistic as to keep quiet and do everyone's time for them while paying his pile for the privilege. Nor will CVC risk greater reputational damage then they have to, by protecting Ecclestone, and will sack him, full stop.

The idea that any element of a $40b+ capitol fund would allow itself to be held financial hostage by Ecclestone is as I've said before ludicrous, as is the notion that ex-M&S's Rose is incapable of running FOM at least as well if not many times better then Ecclestone. If you can manage well, as Rose has ably demonstrated, you can manage anything well, needing technical expertise or experience of a sector is not a prerequisite or in many cases desirable.

You mention Morrisons but no view that the new management (which ironically included CVC) incurred reorganisational costs to redress previous years poor performance when chaired by Sir Ken, so hardly a ringing endorsement of either Sir Ken or by implication Bernie, but look how well Morrisons are doing now as a consequence of getting of Sir Ken out....

Unlike some here I don't feel Ecclestone has any great ability, yes he was fortunate to come to F1 at a time when there was another as likeminded to collude with and make themselves as rich as Croesus. Could he have succeeded without Mosley, no ambiguity here, he couldn't have, nor would they have succeeded had the teams collaborated, as they were to do more effectively years later, lessons learnt too late.

But for those following the Guardian's relentless exposure of the Met's corruption and NI's illegal involvement in the UK's phone hacking scandal, that ought to demonstrate these things can't be kept under wraps. Even Andy Coulson cynically giving evidence in the Sheridan perjury trial recently (at a time he thought himself safe because like the Gribkowsky affair, those involved were keeping mum) may ironically find himself investigated for perjury in the same trial, and that on top of losing his job at No10.

Certainly NI are bricking it with regard to the increasingly serious revelations in Parliament, The Guardian and this week on Panorama, do CVC relish being in the same boat.

Speculation of pseudo expert opinion on trusts and off shore holding clouds the issue and are irrelevant unless there was some indication of Ecclestone's holding's which there are not, so do we rely on CVC's statements on the matter of Ecclestone's holdings or people who may not know what they'er talking about?

Question, is Ecclestone laughing?

Edited by TriumphST, 17 March 2011 - 19:25.


#131 OSX

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 14:25

Bernie Ecclestone Faces Questioning Over F1 Sale Investigation
17 March 2011

"Bernie Ecclestone is expected to be questioned as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged corrupt payments of $50 million made to a German banker during the sale of Formula One five years ago."

"It is understood Ecclestone has retained a German lawyer although no charges have yet been filed."

http://www.telegraph...estigation.html


#132 jjcale

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 16:05

Reports, speculative of course, but reiterated by SKY, Telegraph and the Times that German Prosecutors wish to question Ecclestone and that he has sought to appoint german lawyers, seems to suggest that a pre-emptive strike by CVC may be on the cards, based on what they may have discovered but not seen fit to publish allied to reports of a new chairman being sought. This story isn't dying, nor is Ecclestone suing.

As previously opined Gribkowsky incarcerated for over two months now is unlikely to be so altruistic as to keep quiet and do everyone's time for them while paying his pile for the privilege. Nor will CVC risk greater reputational damage then they have to, by protecting Ecclestone, and will sack him, full stop.


This is all speculation... it's probably well founded but still speculation.

The idea that any element of a $40b+ capitol fund would allow itself to be held financial hostage by Ecclestone is as I've said before ludicrous, as is the notion that ex-M&S's Rose is incapable of running FOM at least as well if not many times better then Ecclestone. If you can manage well, as Rose has ably demonstrated, you can manage anything well, needing technical expertise or experience of a sector is not a prerequisite or in many cases desirable.


2 unrelated points. The first one - we dont know. The second, I disagree with - F1 is a specialist area.

You mention Morrisons but no view that the new management (which ironically included CVC) incurred reorganisational costs to redress previous years poor performance when chaired by Sir Ken, so hardly a ringing endorsement of either Sir Ken or by implication Bernie, but look how well Morrisons are doing now as a consequence of getting of Sir Ken out....


They were doing well when Sir Ken was there, they did less well when he was ousted, then they reorganized and are now doing well again. Why is that a reflection on Sir Ken?

Unlike some here I don't feel Ecclestone has any great ability, yes he was fortunate to come to F1 at a time when there was another as likeminded to collude with and make themselves as rich as Croesus. Could he have succeeded without Mosley, no ambiguity here, he couldn't have, nor would they have succeeded had the teams collaborated, as they were to do more effectively years later, lessons learnt too late.


You are entitled to your opinion... I happen not to think it was a coincidence that F1 became a very valuable property at roughly the same time that Ecclestone took over.

But for those following the Guardian's relentless exposure of the Met's corruption and NI's illegal involvement in the UK's phone hacking scandal, that ought to demonstrate these things can't be kept under wraps. Even Andy Coulson cynically giving evidence in the Sheridan perjury trial recently (at a time he thought himself safe because like the Gribkowsky affair, those involved were keeping mum) may ironically find himself investigated for perjury in the same trial, and that on top of losing his job at No10.

Certainly NI are bricking it with regard to the increasingly serious revelations in Parliment, The Guardian and this week on Panorama, do CVC relish being in the same boat.


The people involved at the NI are relatively low level ... even Coulson. He is not an owner just a senior employee.

Speculation of pseudo expert opinion on trusts and off shore holding clouds the issue and are irrelevant unless there was some indication of Ecclestone's holding's which there are not, so do we rely on CVC's statements on the matter of Ecclestone's holdings or people who may not know what they'er talking about?


How do you know that I dont know what I am talking about?... you dont need to insult me because you disagree with me. I dont know who you are and you dont know who I am.

Question, is Ecclestone laughing?


Its certainly getting interesting. I've said from the beginning that Ecclestone would be a perfect sacrificial lamb given the anti-corruption mood over in Germany. I agree that if the heat is turned up on him to a certain point he will have to consider his position... if for no other reason than that he will need to put all his focus on defending himself. But I have my doubts that things will get that far.... This is not the first scandal involving the F1 rights.

#133 TriumphST

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 00:43

Re-reading my response you should have concluded I'd conceded the reports were speculative and only my opinion, however every journalistic report I'd since read actually endorses the sentiments expressed to the point Ecclestone now wants to go to Germany to put his side of the story providing he's guaranteed he'll not be detained, who does he think he is Sherine Dewani.

The issue of whether CVC would cede control of the F1 fund to Ecclestone is ridiculous and I would put money on it not being the case, this from a man who lost a shilling and sixpence in a bookmakers at fourteen and never bet since, on the second point you're defiantly wrong with regard to Rose both from an empirical perspective and also in the view of every management consultant I've ever met. Wasn't it Branson who said expertise was worthless and 'If you can run one business, you can run any business'. Rose in particular ran a diverse and complex organisation that puts F1 in the shade, why couldn't he utilise those skills to manage F1.

You obviously have no idea what you're talking about on this one, Sir Ken oversaw the chaotic takeover of Safeways in 2004, which led to subsequent reduced profits and the posting of their first ever annual loss in 2005. This was the catalyst for the takeover in 2006 when Sir Ken was replaced as CEO and retirement in 2008. A situation precisely the opposite of what you allege.

You picked up on NI and Coulson but completely missed or ignored the point, which was sooner or later the truth will out with Grigkowsky and Ecclestone just as it is with NoW, Met police and NI.

You have no need to feel insulted as your's was not one of those opinions which I considered 'expert'. I should point out that across my breakfast table there will be my daughter a certified Accountant and Chartered CPA Tax Advisor, she specialises in tax avoidance (not I stress evasion) I won't elaborate as there would be little point and frankly your posts show no indication you're in any way connected with the profession.

Ecclestone "a perfect sacrificial lamb", you are either a conspiracy theorist or an Ecclestone apologist I can't figure which.


#134 jjcale

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:08

Re-reading my response you should have concluded I'd conceded the reports were speculative and only my opinion, however every journalistic report I'd since read actually endorses the sentiments expressed to the point Ecclestone now wants to go to Germany to put his side of the story providing he's guaranteed he'll not be detained, who does he think he is Sherine Dewani.


I said "speculative" not "your opinion"... there is a difference. I've not read one newspaper report on any of this and I am happy to take your word for what is in the papers. But as yet the question of Ecclestone's guilt or whether he will be prosecuted is still speculative.

The issue of whether CVC would cede control of the F1 fund to Ecclestone is ridiculous and I would put money on it not being the case, this from a man who lost a shilling and sixpence in a bookmakers at fourteen and never bet since, on the second point you're defiantly wrong with regard to Rose both from an empirical perspective and also in the view of every management consultant I've ever met. Wasn't it Branson who said expertise was worthless and 'If you can run one business, you can run any business'. Rose in particular ran a diverse and complex organisation that puts F1 in the shade, why couldn't he utilise those skills to manage F1.


I've never said they would "cede control of the F1 fund" to Ecclestone. I dont even know what you mean by this. My assertion is, and has always been, that it is a real possibility that it is not in CVC's power to "sack" Ecclestone... even if he is guilty and he prosecuted.

You obviously have no idea what you're talking about on this one, Sir Ken oversaw the chaotic takeover of Safeways in 2004, which led to subsequent reduced profits and the posting of their first ever annual loss in 2005. This was the catalyst for the takeover in 2006 when Sir Ken was replaced as CEO and retirement in 2008. A situation precisely the opposite of what you allege.


Safeways was a basket case. The merger was the biggest of its kind ever in the UK. There were intergration problems (as there always are). IMO the team at Morrisons did a more than decent job.... the problems were mostly on the Safeway side.... It wasnt the "chaotic takeover of Safeways", more like the "takeover of chaotic Safeways".

You picked up on NI and Coulson but completely missed or ignored the point, which was sooner or later the truth will out with Grigkowsky and Ecclestone just as it is with NoW, Met police and NI.


How can you be so sure as to what is the truth re Grigkowsky and Ecclestone? I know it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck... but that is just based on the limited info that we have right now... why rush to declare it duck? ... and that assumes that the truth will out. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't...like I said before, this is not the first scandal in Germany re the F1 rights.

You have no need to feel insulted as your's was not one of those opinions which I considered 'expert'. I should point out that across my breakfast table there will be my daughter a certified Accountant and Chartered CPA Tax Advisor, she specialises in tax avoidance (not I stress evasion) I won't elaborate as there would be little point and frankly your posts show no indication you're in any way connected with the profession.


Actually, I've have had to look into this matter on two separate occasions within the last 10 years... the last time was about 4 years ago. Other than that I only have a passing interest as an F1 fan (...and one who hardly reads the papers!). I only ask questions (rather than try to give the answers as once the structure goes offshore it becomes very opague). I am not telling you he cant be sacked... I am just saying that this is a real possiblity.

Ecclestone "a perfect sacrificial lamb", you are either a conspiracy theorist or an Ecclestone apologist I can't figure which.


"Conspiracy Theorist"/realist.... Ecclestone would be perfect - he is "anglo-saxon". He is a billionaire(?) but he is not really a big fish. He is not too interconnected. If he falls he will not necessarily take too many others out with him.... with everything that has been exposed over the past few years, I would think there are much more urgent priorities than Ecclestone and Gribowsky but this is a nice localised issue, but which is high profile, so it can be dealt with to make it look like the authorities are really serious about cracking down on whitecollar crime.


#135 Slartibartfast

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 14:28

Slartibartfast:

Unfortunatly the links don't work....been trying 'View all Lingerie' to no avail.

Well, if you're sure you want to see it all.

But be warned...

#136 New Britain

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 18:27

The idea that any element of a $40b+ capitol fund would allow itself to be held financial hostage by Ecclestone is as I've said before ludicrous, as is the notion that ex-M&S's Rose is incapable of running FOM at least as well if not many times better then Ecclestone. If you can manage well, as Rose has ably demonstrated, you can manage anything well, needing technical expertise or experience of a sector is not a prerequisite or in many cases desirable.

I've got no particular point of view on the debate between you and the other chap (in fact, it's not clear to me even what you're debating), but I am bound to interject here.
The notion that Rose is necessarily capable of running FOM well because he ran M&S well is simply not credible. Steve Redgrave was one hell of an athlete, who rowed, but I don't think he'd have been very successful at marathon running.
There is not only one kind of management. Large bureaucracies are different from small start-ups. Technology is different from a symphony orchestra is different from copper mining. You don't manage a hospital the way you'd manage a football team.
The annals of business are littered with the bodies of superstar managers who changed industries and went from walking on water to residing on the ocean floor.
Of course almost all good managers are intelligent, or at least very intelligent in a narrow way. I struggle to think of another trait that is essential to all types of management, although there are several that are common to many types of management.
Then we get to the question of whether Bernie himself is a manager. He's a brilliant deal-maker, bluff-caller, divider-and-conquerer, and optimiser of zero-sum situations. He's got vision and he's got balls.
He's also got a small staff and a simple business model. He has made the most of a unique opportunity to create a monopoly, in which he was amply assisted by a friendly regulator. Whatever he did was not something that will be repeated by anyone, even a younger clone, because the chance won't exist.
Would Rose be more likely than a randomly-selected adult to replace Bernie successfully? Sure, because he's above-average smart, he's dealt with risk, he's judged popular trends, he's negotiated, he's networked. Thousands of other people have done the same. That would not necessarily qualify any of them, including Rose, to be the boss of FOM.


#137 JPW

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:52

Article in which Bernie comments on the Gribkowsky situation.
disclaimer it's a Spitpass/Sylt production so they probably could have it all wrong.

Allegedly the internal CVC investigation led to nothing:

Indeed, last month accountancy firm Ernst & Young and law firm Freshfields began an investigation into the circumstances surrounding CVC's takeover and Ecclestone told Sylt "they haven't found anything."


Gribkowsky a scapegoat?

He suggests that the German authorities have singled out Gribkowsky since they are looking for a scapegoat from Bayern after it made heavy losses.

"I think there is more there than meets the eye," says Ecclestone, adding "that bank has been involved in all sorts of funny things over a period and I think they are just looking for someone."



#138 New Britain

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 13:14

Article in which Bernie comments on the Gribkowsky situation.
disclaimer it's a Spitpass/Sylt production so they probably could have it all wrong.

Allegedly the internal CVC investigation led to nothing:

Gribkowsky a scapegoat?

That is possible, but it would be interesting to learn how, as reported widely, he ended up with $50m from working as an employee of a government bank.
It would also be interesting to learn why, after the bank he worked for had sold its entire holding in Formula One in 2005, he was invited to be on the board of the new Commercial Rights Holder. He had no background in motor sport. He only got involved in F1 because the bank he worked for, Bayern LB, had a big loan out to German company Kirch, which had acquired the Commercial Rights Holder. Eighteen months after that, Kirch defaulted, and Bayern LB, "inherited" Kirch's stake in the CRH.
So the obvious question is: "Why was Gribkowsky still on the board of the Commercial Rights Holder five years after Bayern LB had sold all its stake?"


#139 JPW

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 13:55

So the obvious question is: "Why was Gribkowsky still on the board of the Commercial Rights Holder five years after Bayern LB had sold all its stake?"

They'll undoubtedly come up with an answer like "because of his financial expertise", his network/contacts bladibladibla........

Thing is him being on the board doesn't prove a damn thing and with Gribkowsky keeping his mouth shut, Bernie and CVC remaining tight-lipped the prosecutor will need to come up with a whole lot more to prove where, how, and for what that money made it to the aptly named "Sonnenschein" trust in Austria.

I agree with you that it would be interesting to know all about Gribkowsky's consultancy fees but I'm afraid as things stand now poor Gerhard will keep quiet, do a bit of time and retire to a sunny island far away while the little octogenarian rules F1 for many more years.  ;)



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#140 New Britain

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 14:28

They'll undoubtedly come up with an answer like "because of his financial expertise", his network/contacts bladibladibla........

Thing is him being on the board doesn't prove a damn thing and with Gribkowsky keeping his mouth shut, Bernie and CVC remaining tight-lipped the prosecutor will need to come up with a whole lot more to prove where, how, and for what that money made it to the aptly named "Sonnenschein" trust in Austria.

I agree with you that it would be interesting to know all about Gribkowsky's consultancy fees but I'm afraid as things stand now poor Gerhard will keep quiet, do a bit of time and retire to a sunny island far away while the little octogenarian rules F1 for many more years. ;)

Unlike for an e-mail, the source of bank-transferred money can almost always be traced. It may take a hell of a long time to unravel a network of offshore-based shell companies, if that's what we have here, but there will be evidence. Indeed, there already is evidence of some transactions.
I don't know that anyone did anything bad here. If someone did something bad here, that wouldn't mean that laws had been broken. There's been plenty of bad stuff happen in F1 that was nonetheless legal or, at least, allowed.
I've got a feeling that, behind the smoke, there's some fire here. Let's stay tuned.

#141 TriumphST

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 15:41

I've got no particular point of view on the debate between you and the other chap (in fact, it's not clear to me even what you're debating), but I am bound to interject here.
The notion that Rose is necessarily capable of running FOM well because he ran M&S well is simply not credible. Steve Redgrave was one hell of an athlete, who rowed, but I don't think he'd have been very successful at marathon running.
There is not only one kind of management. Large bureaucracies are different from small start-ups. Technology is different from a symphony orchestra is different from copper mining. You don't manage a hospital the way you'd manage a football team.
The annals of business are littered with the bodies of superstar managers who changed industries and went from walking on water to residing on the ocean floor.
Of course almost all good managers are intelligent, or at least very intelligent in a narrow way. I struggle to think of another trait that is essential to all types of management, although there are several that are common to many types of management.
Then we get to the question of whether Bernie himself is a manager. He's a brilliant deal-maker, bluff-caller, divider-and-conquerer, and optimiser of zero-sum situations. He's got vision and he's got balls.
He's also got a small staff and a simple business model. He has made the most of a unique opportunity to create a monopoly, in which he was amply assisted by a friendly regulator. Whatever he did was not something that will be repeated by anyone, even a younger clone, because the chance won't exist.
Would Rose be more likely than a randomly-selected adult to replace Bernie successfully? Sure, because he's above-average smart, he's dealt with risk, he's judged popular trends, he's negotiated, he's networked. Thousands of other people have done the same. That would not necessarily qualify any of them, including Rose, to be the boss of FOM.


The issue discussed with the 'other chap' as you describe him was, is Ecclestone sackable, it's now complete. On this interjection I bow to your infinite wisdom on the subject of 'The Art of Management' and of course your previous masterclass on tax avoidance issues, my thanks.


#142 TriumphST

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 15:50

Well, if you're sure you want to see it all.

But be warned...


Enjoyed being reminded of the FT episode and the warning was fully justified :blush:


#143 jjcale

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 21:32

http://www.jamesalle...al-for-the-fia/

James Allen is reporting that Ecclestone thinks that CVC will look for the exits in a couple of years when the loan is paid off.... and that the FIA has a "Don King" clause giving them the final say on who they can sell their interest to.

On CVC’s involvement with F1
Private equity firm CVC owns a controlling interest in the commercial rights holding company in F1 and there has been some suggestion recently that they might be shaping up to sell. Ecclestone has said that the debt, of over $2 billion, will be paid down in the next two years and Reuters reported last week that CVC has been doing a study into a possible sale. However Todt says he doesn’t think that they are on the point of selling their stake in F1,

“When the agreement was made I wasn’t president of the FIA. They (CVC) are very smart people. They have left Bernie total freedom to run the business and he has done an outstanding job as a promoter, but not alone; it’s like a movie, you have the director but you must also have the actors and the actors (in F1) have been strongly participating in the show and in the success of the show.

“What is important now is to consider what everyone has contributed in the evolution of what was F1, what is F1 and what F1 has to be in the future. And to have a healthy discussion about how to share the revenues and the costs.”

Does he think they want to sell, “I don’t think so,” he said. “They are committed, they have done an excellent job, they like the F1 business. CVC is the owner, but if CVC decides to sell the FIA and myself as president have a role to play.” This refers to the “Don King” clause in the 100 year agreement, which gives the FIA the right of veto over a prospective purchaser of the commercial rights.



#144 scheivlak

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 23:37

Meanwhile in Germany: http://www.sueddeuts...stone-1.1085972

Bernie's role is changing from 'witness' to 'accused'.

#145 New Britain

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 01:43

http://www.jamesalle...al-for-the-fia/

James Allen is reporting that Ecclestone thinks that CVC will look for the exits in a couple of years when the loan is paid off.... and that the FIA has a "Don King" clause giving them the final say on who they can sell their interest to.

Not sure why there would be any connection between a sale and the loan repayments, unless there were some transfer pricing going on, and the UK sub were generating big losses (which are the offshore's gain) which reduce CVC's UK tax liabilities from other onshore activities.

#146 WhiteBlue

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 02:51

Not sure why there would be any connection between a sale and the loan repayments, unless there were some transfer pricing going on, and the UK sub were generating big losses (which are the offshore's gain) which reduce CVC's UK tax liabilities from other onshore activities.

The connection is obvious. When CVC aquired F1 their profit slice of the business was exceeding 50%. Now it is less than 35%. After the next round of concord negotiations it is not going to go up but down. So their likely move is exit and cash in. That is only possible if they cooperate with the FiA.

Edited by WhiteBlue, 16 April 2011 - 02:51.


#147 WhiteBlue

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 02:53

Meanwhile in Germany: http://www.sueddeuts...stone-1.1085972

Bernie's role is changing from 'witness' to 'accused'.

:up: I like that. For all his big announcements it is quite funny that he came as accused to Munich and made a testimony. That seems to indicate he isn't squeaky clean at all.


#148 jjcale

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 16:26

As the world turns:

http://formula-one.s...ry-saga-report/

:eek:

The German weekly news magazine Focus claims the F1 chief executive, accused by Munich prosecutors of aiding and abetting a breach of trust, has alleged Gribkowsky blackmailed him to the tune of $40 million as he oversaw the sale of the sport to current owner CVC.

The report said Ecclestone made the accusation of extortion, which if proved could result in the return of the payment to the 80-year-old, in the form of official testimony.

It is believed Gribkowsky threatened Ecclestone with the divulgence of sensitive information regarding the structure of his businesses.

Austria's Salzburger Nachrichten said Ecclestone may be electing to cooperate with authorities now in the hope of receiving a lighter penalty in the event any wrongdoing is found.


@TriumphST... this is very interesting!

#149 Fastcake

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 16:32

That's typical Bernie, even managing to turn a profit from a police investigation!

#150 TriumphST

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 17:47

As the world turns:

http://formula-one.s...ry-saga-report/

:eek:

@TriumphST... this is very interesting!


All it suggests is the little rat's running scared. He knows he can't deny ownership of the $50m because it has been traced or in the process of being traced back to him, so what can he do?

Well it seems Gribkowsky's consultancy claim isn't holding water with German prosecutors office and Ecclestone having watched too many 'Perry Mason' episodes in the 60' comes up with this childish 'blackmail' claim in the hope he won't have to divulge the reason for shelling out $50m because that may incriminate him.
Whatever the reason, it won't have anything to do with tax evasion, bribery, corruption or fraud and you may take Bernie's word on that.....or can you?
You have to ask if there's anything that comes out of the cretins mouth you could believe, certainly all those denials he's been issuing since January seem a little hollow just now.

Certainly $50m is quite a chunk to pay for someone's silence, for what you may ask, what could someone you have only just met know about you, that was worth $50m to you, that enemies you had had for 40-years were not fully aware of?
Also isn't it unusual for a blackmailer to accept not only instalments but have in place a contract governing when and in what currency the instalments should be paid, with liquidated and ascertained damage clause's.
Isn't the perceived opinion on Ecclestone that when presented with a situation like this, he'd respond initially with having both of your legs broken then move on to more permanent solutions?

Better to ask how much Ecclestone's take was, if Gribkowsky's was $50m?

As I've said previously, this is more then tax avoidance and like the NI/Met Police hacking and the Ian Tomlinson/Met Police inquiries the truth will out. Who here would have thought Ecclestone would have gone to Germany unless he had to or this desperate and childish justification would emerge. A justification that ironically could lead to Ecclestone being repaid the $50m paid to Gribkowsky, though he'll have to argue with BayernLB who I think have a claim pending for $200m.

In any event I can't see Ecclestone wriggling out of this one or indeed Gribkowsky quietly accepting 10-14 years in the pokey, he will spill the beans and implicate, guess who?

At which point the world fall's in on Ecclestone with all sorts of sequestration actions clawing back all his trust funds and worldwide interests.

As an aside, CVC plans for divesting it's interest in F1, the upcoming negotiations for a new Concorde Agreement will both be adversely affected by this scandal and may even see the house of cards that are the commercial rights fall apart.

Interesting to see CVC's reaction to Bernie's plight and if they were aware of the blackmail situation. Furthermore do they intend to settle Ernst & Young account seeing as they might be seen as a bit remiss during their recent investigation?

http://www.sueddeuts...aerts-1.1087765

Edited by TriumphST, 29 April 2011 - 08:01.