Formula One: German bank sues F1 magnate Ecclestone for over $500m - report

German bank BayernLB is seeking €345 million (S$557 million) in a lawsuit against Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone (above) over the 2006 sale of the sport's rights, according to a report. -- PHOTO: AFP
German bank BayernLB is seeking €345 million (S$557 million) in a lawsuit against Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone (above) over the 2006 sale of the sport's rights, according to a report. -- PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - German bank BayernLB is seeking €345 million (S$557 million) in a lawsuit against Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone over the 2006 sale of the sport's rights, according to a report.

German press agency DPA say the Bavarian bank has filed a fresh suit in Munich against the 84-year-old Ecclestone, the chief executive officer of Formula One.

The Bavarian state bank, who were unavailable for comment on Friday, accuses the British billionaire of bribing one of its executives to influence the 2006 sale of Formula One's rights.

Ecclestone has counter-sued BayernLB by filing a suit in London, according to reports.

In August, Ecclestone avoided a possible prison sentence by agreeing to pay US$100 million (S$130 million) to settle a case in Munich after state prosecutors said he paid BayernLB executive Gerhard Gribkowsky US$44 million as a bribe to help smooth the sale.

Ecclestone has never denied paying the money, but said he was blackmailed into paying the huge sum or would have risked losing the Formula One rights.

The corruption case tainted the Formula One chief's tenure for more than three years.

Gribkowsky is serving an eight and a half year sentence for corruption and tax fraud after accepting the money.