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Bernie sniffs at $400m bank claim

2012-10-26 06:55

BERNIE ECCLESTONE: German bank wants him to pay back $400-million.

Christian Kraemer and Alan Baldwin

GREATER NOIDA, India - German Landesbank BayernLB is seeking $400-million in damages from Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who said he would fight in court if need be.

BayernLB said on Thursday it had approached Ecclestone's lawyers about damages over a deal in 2005 to sell its stake in F1.
Information from the trial earlier in 2012 of BayernLB's former chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky has subsequently led the Munich-based lender to conclude it had sold its F1 stake on the cheap, a financial source said on Thursday.

NO OFFER TO SETTLE

Speaking at the hospitality suite at the F1 Grand Prix in India, Ecclestone said, "They asked our lawyers in Germany. They said could we have $400-million back? I did not respond. There is no point, is there?"

Ecclestone said he had not offered to settle. Asked whether he was prepared to go to court, he said: "Yeah, absolutely."

Gribkowsky, who admitted to taking bribes during the stake sale, was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison by a Munich court in June, 2012.

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