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F1 Boss Ecclestone Facing Possible Bribery Charge

Criminal charges reportedly under study in F1 stock sale.

by on Jun.25, 2012

Is 82-year-old F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone going to face bribery charges?

His name has surfaced in connection with a variety of questionable activities over the years yet Formula One czar Bernie Ecclestone has always managed to steer clear of trouble. But now, his luck may be running out as German newspaper Bild reports that German prosecutors are preparing to file bribery charges that could put the British mogul behind bars for up to a decade.

The potential charges stem from the ongoing trial of German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who has been held in a Munich prison for the past 18 months. Gribkowsky’s lengthy trial, which began last October, covers a myriad of charges including corrupt payments, tax evasion and breach of trust against his employer.  It all stems out of the 2006 sale of the Formula One holding company to its current controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners.

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In a deal with prosecutors to reduce his sentence to no more than nine years, the former banker had admitted, “I allowed myself to be bribed.  It has taken me a long time to come to terms with what I did to admit it even to myself – yes, it was bribery, and yes, I should have paid tax.  Even today I have troubles accepting this as reality.”  But the damage came when Gribkowsky adds that, “With hindsight, I know now that I should have said no to (Bernie Ecclestone’s) demands.”


Is Formula One for Sale?

After initial denial, owners admit something’s up.

by on May.09, 2011

The face of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone insists the sport isn't for sale - or is it?

After initially denying any interest in selling the vastly profitable Formula One race series, the sports owners now acknowledge there may be some talks underway – though it’s unclear where any negotiations might lead.

Rumors have been circulating that a consortium led by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Exor, the Italian investment arm of Fiat’s Agnelli family, have approached F1 owner CVC Capital Partners with an offer to acquire what is generally considered to be the world’s most powerful and profitable motor sports program.

After initially denying anything was up, CVC’s public face, Bernie Ecclestone, has acknowledged what is now being described as a “friendly” offer.

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In a formal statement, Formula One’s current owners announced, “CVC can confirm that it has recently received an approach from the Exor News Corporation consortium.”  The group added that Rupert Murdoch’s son and senior News Corp.  executive “James Murdoch has informed us that the approach is friendly, at a very preliminary stage, and that they acknowledge that Formula 1 is privately owned by CVC and not currently for sale.”