Posted on October 28, 2013


[Updated] Tomorrow in London, F1′s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone begins the defence of a US$170m legal action against him and three other defendants, over the sale of F1 by Bayern LB to CVC in 2005 and the payments around the time of the sale, made by Ecclestone to disgraced Bayern LB employee Gerhard Gribkowsky. Ecclestone has acknowledged making the payments, but denies they were bribes. He says that the payments were in response to Gribkowsky blackmailing him over the conduct of the Bambino Trust. The German threatened to claim to UK Tax Authorities that Ecclestone controlled the trust which would More…

Posted on September 22, 2012


[Updated] CVC Capital Partners, which holds 35% of the business that owns Formula 1′s commercial rights, has taken on a couple of new high powered investors in the shape of government backed funds from Singapore and Kuwait in recent months, according to reports. At the same time the sale of CVC’s stock which reduced its holding from 63% to around 35% and netted the firm $2.1 billion earlier this year, has also given them the luxury of being able to bide their time on a floatation of the F1 business. A floatation here on the Singapore Stock Exchange was prepared More…

Posted on June 27, 2012


Gerhard Gribkowsky, the banker from Bayern LB who was once chairman of the F1 holding board, has been convicted of corruption and sentenced to eight and a half years in jail. According to Reuters this evening, “Presiding judge Peter Noll convicted BayernLB’s former chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky of tax evasion, bribery and breach of fiduciary trust in a court in Munich. “Noll described the billionaire (Bernie) Ecclestone as the “driving force” behind the payments but said Gribkowsky, in turn, had shown “high criminal energy” ” Prosecutor Christophe Rodler had summed up his case by saying that Ecclestone was “not More…

Posted on June 17, 2012


CVC, the private equity firm that has owned the Formula 1 business since 2006, has sold a further stake to investors, reducing its stake in the sport down to 35%, from the 63% it originally held. It takes the total received this year by the company from this round of share sales to $2.1 billion. The deals are based on the enterprise valuation of the F1 business at $9.1 billion. City sources suggest that if and when CVC makes its exit from the F1 business at this valuation, it would be one of the most successful private equity investments ever. More…

Posted on September 5, 2011


There is a story at large today that Donald Mackenzie, the guiding light behind CVC Investment Partners, has become chairman of Delta Topco, the company which owns the commercial rights to Formula 1. This in effect makes him the Chairman of F1. The detail behind it is that nothing has actually changed, as Mackenzie was already the acting chairman, which was looking to place a top business name in the role. Sir Stuart Rose, formerly chairman and chief executive of Marks and Spencer, was tapped up about taking the job, but is believed to have declined unless the role meant More…

Posted on July 28, 2011


My colleagues at the Financial Times have written a story with comments from investors in CVC saying that they are uneasy with the the lack of response from the private equity company that owns 75% of the commercial rights of Formula 1, to the ongoing bribery allegations surrounding the sale of F1 five years ago. They want the private equity firm to take a lead and provide more information. “There has not been much communication from CVC on F1 and we are slightly worried about it. We do not know more about this than what we read in the media,” More…

Posted on July 9, 2011


On Wednesday I went to the headquarters of Formula One Management at Princes Gate to interview Bernie Ecclestone for Australian Network 10 Television. We spoke of many things and I put to him some of the questions I’ve heard from fans – not least at the recent FOTA Fans Forum events we organsised – to do with F1′s reluctance to expand into social media and where the balance lies between entertainment and sport. * Sebastian Vettel’s current domination of F1 * The balance between entertainment and sport * His sparring match with Jean Todt * His attitude to F1 content More…

Posted on May 4, 2011


The last 24 hours have seen some interesting twists in the story of a possible takeover of Formula 1 by News Corporation. Last night we had a joint statement from News Corp and Exor, the Agnelli family company which owns a stake in FIAT and Ferrari, saying that they were “in the early stages of exploring the possibility of creating a consortium with a view to formulating a long-term plan for the development of Formula One in the interests of the participants and the fans.” They added, “Over the coming weeks and months, Exor and News Corporation will approach potential More…



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