Judge rules for banks against Ecclestone

12-07-2004, 10:00 AM
20:33 06Dec2004 UPDATE 2-Motor racing-Judge rules for banks against Ecclestone

LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - A High Court judge ruled against Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone on Monday in a legal dispute with three banks that could weaken his hold on the sport.
The judgment was immediately hailed by Formula One carmakers planning their own series from 2008 as a key decision for the future of the sport, despite Ecclestone playing down its importance.
"Today's judgment seems indeed to be a turning point in the future of Formula One," said the carmakers' Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) in a statement.
"GPWC supports any development that benefits the sport's long-term stability and will follow upcoming events with interest."
Three shareholding banks under the name Speed Investments brought a case disputing the validity of the appointment of two directors to the board of Formula One Holdings (FOH), which diluted their influence.
At the start of a judgment expected to last many hours, Justice Andrew Park said: "In my judgment it is clear that Speed's contentions are correct and I should therefore make the declarations which it requests."
The judge refused to freeze the judgment pending an application to the appeal court for permission to challenge his ruling.
Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers control 75 percent of the SLEC holding company that owns the commercial rights to Formula One. The other 25 percent is owned by Bambino Holdings, an Ecclestone family trust.
SLEC owns FOH. The banks were contesting the appointment to the FOH board of Luc Argand and Emmanuele Argand-Rey two years ago, arguing that although the banks own the majority of the shares they do not have control because of the board's composition.
Ecclestone, when asked by Reuters at a meeting of team principals in London what the court ruling meant for him, said: "Nothing at all.
"The banks, they want to get out. These people didn't get their shares out of choice, they got them as a security. They got the house and they don't want the house."
The banks acquired their stake in Formula One after Germany's Kirch media empire collapsed owing them $1.6 billion.
"Now they want to cash in the house and that's what they're trying to do," Ecclestone said.
"We have no problems with the banks. This is just a problem of them trying to put value on their shares."
The case was being closely watched, with a victory for the banks seen as likely to hasten a deal with the carmakers to avert the threat of a 'rival' series.
Monday, 06 December 2004 20:33:46RTRS [nL06291028] {C}ENDS

02-21-2011, 04:45 PM
did nobody recognice that this story does have a follow-up with the new gribkowsky-case in munich ???? ... and with all the questions all over suddn rising up - wa he paid by eccclestone ???
to sell these rights after this case dessision "to cheap" ???? ...
wonderng who will find out the truth *smile* ....

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