ULA One boss Bernie Ecclestone was accused in a London court yesterday of making a“corrupt bargain” that cost a German media firm millions, one of multiple legal challenges that threaten his control of the sport.
Constantin Medien is seeking more than $100m in damages from Ecclestone, arguing that he and three other defendants deliberately undervalued Formula One when private equity fund CVC Capital Partners bought into it in 2005.
The fallout from the sale has seen former BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky jailed for eight-and-a-half years for corruption, and a German court is due to decide next year if Ecclestone should stand trial on bribery charges.
The civil trial began yesterday with Philip Marshall, lead counsel for Constantin Medien, outlining his client’s case. After Marshall completes his opening submissions today, lawyers for Ecclestone and the other defendants will give their responses. The trial is scheduled to last six weeks.