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Ecclestone wins High Court battle

Thursday 20-February-2014 11:42

Bernie Ecclestone has won his multi-million dollar case in the High Court despite the judge saying he entered a "corrupt agreement".

Last year, Ecclestone found himself in the High Court after Constantin Medien sued the F1 supremo to the tune of $144 million.

The German media company claimed that was the amount they lost when Ecclestone allegedly undervalued Formula One's worth when it was sold to CVC Capital Parnters in 2006.

Constantin Medien were set to receive a 10 per cent stake if the sport had been sold for more than $1.1bn but they did not receive a cent as German bank BayernLB sold it for $814m.

The company's claims stem from the bribery case in Germany in which former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky was found guilty of receiving a $44million bribe from Ecclestone to undervalue F1.

"The payments were a bribe," judge Guy Newey said in his conclusions.

"They were made because Mr Ecclestone had entered into a corrupt agreement with Dr Gribkowsky in May 2005 under which Dr Gribkowsky was to be rewarded for facilitating the sale of BLB's shares in the Formula One group to a buyer acceptable to Mr Ecclestone."

However, the judge added: "No loss to Constantin has been shown to have been caused by the corrupt arrangement with Dr Gribkowsky.

"That fact is fatal to the claim."

Gribkowsky is currently serving an eight-and-a-half jail term while Ecclestone faces charges in Germany with that case set to begin in April.

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