(Adds detail, Ecclestone lawyer, context)
By Andreas Kröner and Jörn Poltz
MUNICH, Germany Aug 8 German bank BayernLB
said on Friday it had rejected a 25 million euro
settlement offer from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone
relating to his involvement in the 2005 sale of its stake in the
motor racing business.
State-backed BayernLB claims Ecclestone 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 has rejected Mr Ecclestone's settlement offer," a
spokesman for the public-sector lender told Reuters.
Ecclestone's lawyer in Munich, Norbert Scharf, declined to
Following the rejection, which would have required BayernLB
to drop all charges against the 83-year-old British billionaire,
one option could be for the bank to negotiate another sum with
Ecclestone. It could also launch civil proceedings against him.
BayernLB had originally demanded up to $400 million from
Ecclestone, according to financial sources. But during a bribery
court case against Ecclestone the public prosecutor and several
witnesses said the bank had got a good price when it sold its
stake in Formula One to CVC.
In February, a British judge dismissed claims for damages by
German company Constantin Medien, which had alleged
that Ecclestone was part of a "corrupt bargain" with a German
banker to undervalue Formula One and favour the sale of a
controlling stake to private equity fund CVC.
Constantin, a former Formula One owner, is sticking to its
demand for $171 million from Ecclestone. It claims it would have
been entitled to a bigger payment if BayernLB had sold its stake
for a higher price.
On Tuesday a German court halted a bribery trial against
Ecclestone in exchange for his paying a $100 million fee. He is
considered innocent under German law following the settlement.
In 2012 a Munich court jailed Gerhard Gribkowsky, former
chief risk officer at BayernLB, for tax evasion and bribery for
taking a $44 million payment from Ecclestone and his family
trust after the sale.
(Writing by Michelle Martin in Berlin; Editing by Arno Schuetze
and Noah Barkin)