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Last Updated: Friday, 25 March, 2005, 15:41 GMT
Banks 'win control in F1 battle'
Bernie Ecclestone
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has given up control of the companies that handle the sport's commercial rights.

That is according to the German state bank Bayern LB, one of three banks that reached an an out-of-court settlement with Ecclestone on Wednesday.

The banks wanted their 75% stake in F1 holding company Slec translated into influence over its operating companies.

Reuters news agency quoted sources saying the agreement lessened the threat of a breakaway F1 series.

Car makers DaimlerChrysler, Renault, BMW, Honda and Toyota had threatened to form a breakaway championship if they did not get a greater share of F1's commercial income and more say in the running of the sport.

If the banks now have control over the sport's commercial affairs as they claim, it may be easier to agree a compromise solution to the dispute.

The banks - Bayern LB, JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers - inherited their stake in Slec after the collapse of Germany's Kirch media group.

They later pooled their interest in the Speed Investments holding company.

Bayern LB said Ecclestone had effectively given in to all demands from the banks in Wednesday's settlement.

A Bayern LB spokesman said: "Speed, as majority owner of SLEC, has regained the influence that corresponds to the shareholding structure with this deal.

"Speed will use this influence on the operating level in a contructive and responsible manner, and in the interest of all parties."

Banks to keep Ecclestone involved
20 Dec 04 |  Formula One
Judge slams Ecclestone's F1 power
06 Dec 04 |  Business

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