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Court throws out R7bn Bernie case

2014-01-23 08:27

SIGH OF RELIEF: Bernie Ecclestone can breathe a sigh of a relief though he will soon have to return to court as face allegations of bribery. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - A New York court has dismissed a R7-billion damages claim brought against Formula 1's chief executive Bernie Ecclestone and with it brought some relief from the legal problems dogging the F1 boss who faces a bribery trial in 2014.

Investment firm Bluewaters brought the case against Ecclestone and defendants including private equity group CVC, the latest in a series of legal cases stemming from the sale of a major stake in the motorsport business eight years ago.

DIRTY DEAL

Supreme court judge Eileen Bransten ruled that "New York was not a convenient forum for the dispute," adding it should be settled by English or German law. The ruling was dated January 16 2014 but made public later in January.

The case revolved around the R9-billion sale of a 47% stake in F1 to CVC by German bank BayernLB.

Bluewaters alleged that it was the highest bidder and that Ecclestone had favoured a sale to CVC because it planned to keep him on as chief executive of a business he built into a global money-spinner.

Ecclestone (83), is waiting to hear the outcome of a R1-billion damages claim brought in London by a German company which says it too lost out because of the CVC deal.

He will go on trial in Munich in April 2014 after being charged with bribing former BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to smooth the sale to CVC.

Ecclestone denies wrongdoing and says he was the victim of coercion by Gribkowsky.

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Read more on:    bernie ecclestone  |  new york  |  usa  |  motorsport  |  racing  |  f1  |  court

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