Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has won his multi-million pound court case against German media company Constantin Medien, report The Guardian.
Having waiting two months for the verdict of the civil case, Ecclestone has defended himself against claims that the sport had been undervalued when it was sold to private equity firm CVC Partners in 2005. Ecclestone and the other defendants had been sued for up to $144m.
This is the first of two cases against Ecclestone, with the second getting underway in April. This time, criminal charges have been brought on allegations of bribery over a payment to former BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who also sold his stake to CVC. If convicted, Ecclestone could face up to 10 years in prison.
The judge ruled that while the money paid had been a bribe, Constantin’s claim failed because they been “no part” of Ecclestone’s plan.
“No loss to Constantin has been shown to have been caused by the corrupt arrangement with Dr Gribkowsky,” the judge added. “That fact is fatal to the claim.”
Constantin are expected to appeal the decision.