F1 boss Bernie ready to battle with German bank

Formula 1 commercial right holder Bernie Ecclestone is ready to fight with German bank BayernLB over a £320million payment it is seeking.

Press Association reported that A German bank is seeking damages from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone over the sale of its stake in the racing series it says was compromised by a bribe to one of its bankers.

BayernLB spokesman Matthias Luecke says the bank wrote to Mr Ecclestone’s lawyers this week seeking damages but declined to discuss details.

German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung says the claim is over 400 million dollars (£248m). The suit centres on a BayernLB banker, who was convicted this summer of taking a 44 million dollar (£27m) illegal payment over the 2006 sale of the bank’s stake in the company running Formula One. Bank officials argue the reported 750 million dollars (£465m) price tag was 350 million dollars (£217m) too low.

Prosecutors said the payment to the banker was a bribe from Mr Ecclestone. The billionaire is under investigation.

F1 boss is not prepared to resolve over the subject, but, so says he will take the issue to court if needed.

“Absolutely,” he was quoted as saying by the Press Association. “I’ve been blackmailed twice. I don’t want it to be a third time.

“But there’s nothing to worry about. I’m not worried. I’m aggravated with the nonsense I’m being put through for all this. I sold the shares for the bank. It was something they couldn’t sell.

“They had six people look at it and wouldn’t buy. I got them out of trouble and now I’m in trouble. Life is like that sometimes.”

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