BayernLB discovers the F1 media

The banks involved in the Formula One group have been rather slow to understand that there is a busy media in Formula 1 but BayernLB's chief risk officer Dr Gerhard Gribkowsky has recently given an interview to formula1.com, which is owned by the Formula One group, about his bank's intentions in the sport.

The story reveals that rather than buying out the other banks involved (Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers), BayernLB has simply taken over their voting rights.

"It is not a question of who the shareholders are but what rights are associated with certain shares," Gribkowsky said. "Bayerische Landesbank applied for EU clearance of sole control of Speed and received such clearance. Formula One needs clear governance structures to ensure an efficient cooperation between the key shareholders, Speed and Bambino, and Mr Ecclestone."

Gribkowsky says that selling the shareholding is "currently not a relevant issue" and added that "all shareholders need to act concertedly to support the future development of the sport and that is exactly what we are doing".

The banker also says that the banks are committed to finding an agreement with the automobile manufacturers to avoid there being two championships in 2008.

"We believe that the outstanding issues can be solved in dialogue between the parties," he said. "Mr Ecclestone and the shareholders are committed to continuing this dialogue and to finding solutions."

The bank is also supporting Ecclestone in his current position as chief executive officer of Formula One.

"Mr Ecclestone has built this business and made it one of the most successful sport events in the world," Gribkowsky says. "Mr Ecclestone is the CEO and we support him in this role wherever we can."

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