Sure, it may be funny to watch Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone get confounded by the revolving door at his court hearing but the 83-year-old ring leader has already won a small victory in the case against German media group Constantin Medien.
While revolving doors can be a pain, having claimant damages reduced by $30M is not. As Christian Sylt points out, that’s what has transpired in High Court this week as Constantin Medien was seeking damages of $171m but Ecclestone’s family trust attorney, Mark Hapgood QC, argued:
“the claim was originally for $171m. In the light of the claimant’s expert report on valuation, it has been reduced to $140.4m. And to have been entitled to that sum under the participation agreement, the BLB’s interest would have had to be sold for $2.493bn”.
Clearly the BayernLB’s interest was not sold for anything close to $2.5bn rather $814m. It will be surprising to see if Ecclestone is charged with undervaluing the sport and Perhaps the German court are awaiting the verdict as well to gauge their potential success in prosecuting him on a related matter involving bribery. Regardless, Constantin Medien reducing their claim by $30m just adds a cloudy view over the entire proceeding…that’s not chump change willy nilly.
The valuation of Formula 1 is very subjective and while the sport may be worth $6-9bn in terms of an IPO, I still come back to the bank’s comments after the sale claiming they were happy with the price. I would be very surprised if Ecclestone is found guilty of undervaluing but then stranger things have happened…like getting stuck in a revolving door.
What is Ecclestone’s motivation for the revolving door incident? It’s obvious:
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As F1B reader Jonathan Pointer emailed us, Bernie was doing donuts at high court today. No word on any fines.