The implications of the Gribkowsky affair

The implications of the Gribkowsky affair

With last week's revelation that the purchase of Formula 1's current owners CVC back in 2006 is being investigated, Dieter Rencken examines the case and its possible outcomes

Reports that the board of CVC Capital Partners has ordered an investigation into its 2006 acquisition of a majority in the company which holds the lease to Formula 1's commercial rights for the next century have come as no surprise. The matter has now festered since the turn of the year, when it became a matter of public record that Dr Gerhard Gribkowsky, formerly chairman of the then-holding company SLEC, via his senior position with Bayerische Landesbank, had been arrested over a probe in connection with a mysterious payment of $50m.

CVC is the majority shareholder in Delta Topco, which holds the rights to exploit F1's commercial properties, and counts among its officers many of Britain's business heavyweights, including advertising mogul Sir Martin Sorrell – who 18 months ago publicly hit out at DT's CEO Bernie Ecclestone after the F1 tsar commented on Adolf Hitler in an interview.

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