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German bank rejects $33m offer from Ecclestone

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 8, 2014 at 11:23 am •  Published: August 8, 2014

MUNICH (AP) — A German bank that once held a major stake in Formula One on Friday rejected Bernie Ecclestone's offer of a 25 million euro ($33 million) settlement in a dispute over the sale of that stake.

Earlier this week, a Munich court dropped a bribery case against Ecclestone connected to the sale of Munich-based bank BayernLB's F1 stake in exchange for a $100 million payment. After hearing more than three months of evidence, the court said it had serious doubts the F1 boss could be convicted of bribery and incitement to breach of trust.

Separately, BayernLB has been keeping open the option of civil proceedings against the 83-year-old Englishman. The bank did preparatory work on a damages claim against Ecclestone late last year, but didn't file it.

Ecclestone's lawyers last week offered to pay the public-sector bank 25 million euros, though they said damage to the company wasn't evident. The bank said it rejected the offer, without giving reasons, and didn't say what its next move might be. The offer expired Friday.

The charges in the now-closed bribery trial centered on a $44 million payment by Ecclestone to former BayernLB executive Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is serving an 8 1/2-year sentence for taking the money. Gribkowsky was convicted of corruption, tax evasion and breach of trust.

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