January 20, 2014

Ecclestone Facing Bribery Charges Following Share Sale

Last July, charges were brought against Mr Ecclestone after it was alleged that he had bribed former German banker, Gribkowsky, to smooth the sale of a share in Formula One to private equity firm CVC 8 years ago. A German media company, Constantin Medien, claims it lost out financially when the share of F1 belonging to the German bank, Bayerische Landesbank, was sold to CVC.

In 2012, Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for taking the alleged bribe, totalling $45 million; and although Bernie Ecclestone has persistently denied the money was a bribe, he is due to stand trial in April.

As a result of the charges, Mr Ecclestone has stepped down as a director of Formula One, although he still remains in charge of the day-to-day running of the business.

This is just another case that shows how serious authorities take bribery and corruption allegations. In 2011 the Bribery Act came into force in the UK. It imposes strict obligations on businesses active in the UK to implement adequate measures to prevent bribery.

At Royds, we appreciate and understand that there are a myriad of problems and issues which can evolve from running a business, or selling shares – and as such, we have a dedicated team who can assist you. We have particular expertise in advising directors on:

• Mergers & Acquisitions
• Shareholder agreements
• Special Responsibilities
• International Operations
• Anti-Bribery Policies
• Employment Contracts

To find out how we can assist you please contact Claus Andersen, Partner in Corporate and Commercial or John North, Head of Corporate and Commercial on 020 7583 2222.


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