Ecclestone London Bribery Trial Over Formula One Sale Delayed

A bribery trial over Bernie Ecclestone’s role in the 2005 sale of a Bayerische Landesbank stake in Formula One racing to CVC Capital Partners Ltd. will be delayed as long as three weeks.

Constantin Medien AG can take more time to review additional documents surrounding the 2005 deal, delaying the trial until as late as Oct. 28, Judge Geoffrey Vos said at a hearing in London today.

Constantin is suing the Formula One head Ecclestone and Gerhard Gribkowsky, the former risk manager of Bayerische Landesbank, for damages, claiming BayernLB’s Formula One shares were sold too cheaply because Ecclestone bribed Gribkowsky.

German prosecutors charged Ecclestone with bribery and inciting another person to commit breach of trust July 17. A German court will determine whether the charges may go to trial.

Gribkowsky, who managed the lender’s interest in Formula One, said in a German court he was paid $44 million to steer the sale of the bank’s 47 percent stake in the racing circuit to CVC, a U.K.-based buyout firm, and agreed to a sham contract under which Ecclestone received a kickback.

Gribkowsky was convicted of taking bribes from Ecclestone and sentenced to 8 1/2 years in German prison last year.

The case is: Constantin Medien AG v. Bernard Ecclestone, case no. 11-02586, High Court of Justice, Chancery Division.

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