Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has reportedly offered to pay £20 million in damages to BayernLB bank, to bring an end to an ongoing corruption trial. German news agency DPA said the motion was filed in court yesterday and state prosecutors were reviewing the proposal.
What will this mean for Ecclestone?
The report quoted lawyers for Ecclestone, who said there was a lack of evidence against him, and that they were willing to make the payment in an effort to spare the 83-year-old the burdens of a trial.
The Daily Mail reported that the court confirmed that talks 'on a potential early end to the proceedings have not yet reached a conclusion', but did not say what offer had been made.
Ecclestone has been accused of making a payment to a former German banker, as part of the sale of the bank's stake in Formula One eight years ago. The banker has been jailed after being found guilty of corruption.
The Guardian has reported that Ecclestone admitted to making the payment, but insisted it was not a bribe, but a payment he made because he felt threatened by the banker and was trying to avert attempted blackmail involving fictitious claims about his tax status. He said he was trying to avoid the lengthy and costly investigations that would have been triggered if the banker made the claims.
What does it mean for him?The money itself won't make a dent in Ecclestone's fortune. Forbes has named him and his family as the 373rd richest in the world - worth $4.2 billion. His daughters Tamara and Petra are the recipients of an incredibly generous trust fund, thought to be worth £2.6 billion, which has led to extraordinarily lavish lifestyles.
Among the most extravagant spending was Petra's wedding which reportedly cost £12 million, and Tamara's £45 million home near Kensington Palace, complete with a nightclub, bowling alley and £1 million crystal bath
Ecclestone himself owns several private jets and a 190 foot yacht called the Petara. He lives in a penthouse flat above his offices overlooking Hyde Park in London.
However, the son of a Suffolk trawler man - born during the Great Depression - is said to be well aware of every penny spent. He may think that £20 million is a small price to pay in order to end the stress of the trial. But he can't be enjoying the prospect of handing it over.