A month wouldn’t be complete without some lawsuit or allegation against Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone. I saw Mr. E in Austin and he looked very happy and very spry. As he watched Friday practice, a new lawsuit emerged out of New York by investment group Bluewaters Communications Holdings.
The suit alleges that the group offered 10% more than any other bidder (the eventual buyer was CVC Captial) and that they are seeking lost profits they would have made had they been officially awarded the bid. Ecclestone said:
“He put it in writing that no matter what anyone else paid he would give 10 per cent more but unless there is a bank guarantee it doesn’t really matter. It’s hard to believe anyone would do that. What would be interesting to find out is at the time was he in a position to pay that and where would he have got the money from? It’s just a tiresome lot of aggravation. His claim is an absurd claim. He didn’t know that the other bidders were going to pay.”
I’m no attorney but I suppose Bluewaters could be claiming tortious interference or something more but unless there was a formal bidding process with stated obligations of the seller regarding the selection process, I’m not sure this case has any merit.
Ecclestone is right in that deals of this size need to have a Letter of Credit or financial backing showing the ability to pay and financial strength of the bidder, simply saying you’ll pay more is not enough. Also, unless there was an official and legal bidding process document showing obligations from seller and potential buyers, it’s a tad pointless.
I’m not privy to the official documents but we’ll keep and eye on it and see what transpires. Ecclestone still faces an investigation into the sell of Formula One to CVC Capital in a German court over allegations of bribery and this seems more concerning than Bluewaters claim to missed profits over an offer made.