Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Group and owners CVC have been instructed to release 'hundreds of documents' relating to the sale of sport seven years ago, as part of a claim from German media group Constantin Medien for damages of at least $171m.
According to reports by The Financial Times
, Constantin Medien alleges that the 47 per cent stake held by BayernLB was undervalued when it was sold to CVC in 2006.
“At a disclosure hearing in London last month, Mr Justice Vos told lawyers for FOG and CVC their clients must release a number of documents to Constantin Medien. Lawyers for all parties received transcripts of the proceedings last week and are awaiting the judge's final written judgment about what has to be disclosed,” the FT reports.
“The stake was sold for $820m when CVC completed the purchase of F1 in April 2006. But CVC's refinancing of F1 a year later implied a valuation of the stake of $2.8bn," The FT adds.
“In the disclosure hearing before Mr Justice Vos, Peters and Peters, Constantin Medien's lawyers, argued there was no proper valuation and marketing of the BayernLB stake before the sale.
“The lawyers claimed the undervaluation was the result of the $44m payment made by Mr Ecclestone and Bambino, the Ecclestone family trust, to Gerhard Gribkowsky, the ex-BayernLB banker jailed last year for eight and a half years on corruption charges.”
The Constantin Medien court case will now take place on October 28 and will last around six weeks. Ecclestone is expected to be called as a witness, along with F1 chief financial officer Duncan Llowarch and Duncan MacKenzie, CVC's co-chairman.
The case comes at a time when FOG/CVC is looking to float F1 on the Singapore stock exchange. Ecclestone was also formally indicted last month
by prosecutors in Germany.