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SBD Global/May 20, 2013/Finance
F1 Singapore IPO On Track Despite Legal Issues Of CEO Bernie Ecclestone
Published May 20, 2013
PLAYING DODGEBALL: In London, Tom Bower reported Ecclestone "has learnt to duck and dive to build up and manage his Formula One racing empire." Now, though, "it is all at risk and the veteran gambler faces the biggest threat of his life: German prosecutors have applied to judges for approval to prosecute Ecclestone, 82," who is accused of paying a $44M bribe to a German banker. As a result of the investigation in Germany, U.K. tax authority HMRC "has been investigating whether Ecclestone’s family trusts in Liechtenstein are independent of his control." If they are not, Ecclestone’s tax bill "could be enormous." Countless giants worldwide "have been slain by this 5ft 2in ringmaster, but he may finally have met his match." The German prosecutors believe that "the odds are in their favour, but Ecclestone intends to call their bluff." Ecclestone said, "I’m a firefighter. People keep on lighting fires, and I have to put them out." He added, "I still don't know what the German prosecutors think. I wish I was guilty -- it would be much easier. The charges are a complete load of rubbish" (SUNDAY TIMES, 5/19).