Honda F1 website

MARCH 22, 2005

Off to court again

This morning in London the ongoing court case between Formula One Holdings and Formula One Administration took another step forward with a hearing before Mr Justice Peter Smith. The case is part of the long fight for control of the Formula One Group with the banks which own 75% of the shares in the business trying to get management control of the empire. We understand that for the first time there was representation in the court from the banks, Formula One Management and Ecclestone himself and the case was adjourned very quickly as a request was made for a new hearing tomorrow afternoon. It seems that the judge was told that a settlement was on the verge of being completed but it is not at all clear what that settlement will be. It is possible that Ecclestone might have done a deal to buy the banks out of the business but it is not clear how he would raise the money for this as the Ecclestone family money is tied up in trust companies and Formula One Management does not have the kind of money needed. It may be therefore that he will do a deal which will leave him with management control of the business for a period of time after which he will hand over control and take a back seat, remaining a 25% shareholder in the business but no longer playing a day-to-day role. It is possible that there might be other permutations but at the moment it is not clear what will happen.