Relief for Ecclestone as US judge dismisses $650 million lawsuit

22 January, 2014

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Under fire Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, has had a turn of good fortune as a $650 million lawsuit against him has been dismissed in the New York Supreme Court.

Investment firm Bluewaters Communications Holdings filed the lawsuit at New York State Supreme Court in November 2012, naming Formula 1 commercial head Ecclestone as one of the defendants.

In its claim, Bluewaters said it was prepared to offer more than any other bidder for the sport and alleged that Ecclestone had engineered a sale to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners so thatthey would retain him in his role.

“Ecclestone was motivated by a thirst for power. He wanted desperately to remain “F1 Supremo”,” the Bluewaters claim said.

The damages relate to what Bluewaters say would be their share of lost earnings from the sport, which attracts huge television audiences for its series of grands prix around the globe.

Its bid was financed by New York private equity firms Apollo Global Management and King Street Capital Management, it said.

At the time Ecclestone told Reuters he was surprised that the case had been brought and said he had not heard of Bluewaters, “I couldn’t have been involved because I had nothing to sell.”

Autoweek reports that on Tuesday Eileen Bransten, Justice of the Supreme Court presiding in New York, ruled against Bluewaters because “the ‘critical events’ underlying the claims in this lawsuit took place in Germany, England and elsewhere in Europe.” (GP247-Reuters)

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