CVC investors worried about Ecclestone scandal

Investors in F1’s owner CVC Capital Partners are worried about the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery scandal, the Financial Times has reported.

The report said the investors are calling on the private equity group to clarify the affair, with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone accused of bribing Gribkowsky amid BayernLB’s sale of F1 to CVC some years ago.

“There has not been much communication from CVC on F1 and we are slightly worried about it,” an unnamed European investor is quoted as saying.

“We do not know more about this than what we read in the media.”

CVC said in January it has “no knowledge of, nor any involvement in, any payment to Mr Gribkowsky”. The company has never been accused of wrongdoing.

But the Financial Times said F1 managers and investors are questioning CVC’s apparently “paralysed” reaction to the scandal.

The report’s journalist Daniel Schafer said the investors are also “angry that Donald Mackenzie, the private equity group’s management partner responsible for the deal, is not willing to replace Mr Ecclestone as chief executive of Formula One Management”.

But Mackenzie was reportedly “incensed” when he learned of the payments that moved between BayernLB and Ecclestone amid the sale of the commercial rights.

The unnamed investor, however, said a revolt is unlikely.

“It is one of those cases where investors are willing to put up with a lack of communication as CVC has simply shown such great returns,” he said.

Source: GMM

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