FRANKFURT Aug 21 German bank BayernLB
on Thursday signalled it was open to a compromise to
end a legal fight with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone
relating to his involvement in the 2006 sale of its stake in the
motor racing business.
BayernLB chief executive Johannes-Joerg Riegler indicated a
deal was still possible after the lender rejected a 25 million
euro ($33 million) settlement offer earlier this month.
"If the overall package is right, we wouldn't be closed to
it," Riegler told a conference call with journalists after
unveiling the lender's results for the first half of the year.
State-backed BayernLB claims the 83-year-old British
billionaire collected unjustified commissions and undervalued
its stake in the motor racing business when private equity fund
CVC became Formula One's largest shareholder eight years ago.
BayernLB had originally demanded up to $400 million from
Ecclestone, according to financial sources. But during a court
case against him over allegations he paid a $44 million bribe to
a former German banker to facilitate the sale of BayernLB's
stake, the public prosecutor and several witnesses said the bank
had got a good price.
A German court earlier this month halted the bribery trial
in exchange for his paying a $100 million fee. He is considered
innocent under German law following the settlement.
Riegler said he was unsure how BayernLB's dispute with
Ecclestone would develop.
"It is still open whether it will come to a settlement or we
will have to sue," he said.
($1 = 0.7539 Euros)
(Reporting by Andreas Kroener and Jonathan Gould; Editing by