Ecclestone races home with pounds 54m

Details of the secretive Formula One supremo's pay packet emerge ahead of pounds 1.5bn float

Grand Prix promoter Bernie Ecclestone paid himself an astonishing pounds 54m in the last full financial year before the planned pounds 1.5bn-plus flotation of Formula One Holdings.

Mr Ecclestone's pay is set out in the accounts for the year to 31 March 1996 for Formula One Promotions and Administration, Ecclestone's main company until a recent corporate reorganisation ahead of the float.

The accounts are not yet available at Companies House, but Ecclestone's payment was confirmed by David Wilson, the former Ladbroke senior financial executive who joined Ecclestone a few months ago as finance director of the new Formula One group.

Mr Ecclestone's salary was twice the pounds 27m or so he took out of the business in each of the previous three years. In the four years up to March 1996 Mr Ecclestone paid himself pounds 140m.

The new company is set to go public around the time of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 13 July. The flotation will make the Ecclestone family worth between pounds 750m and pounds 1bn, putting it well up the list of the UK's wealthiest families - assuming the float goes ahead and investors can be persuaded to buy the shares.

Formula One Holdings has grown astonishingly on a high-octane diet of television deals, notably with ITV which is paying many times the amount Mr Ecclestone used to receive from the BBC. Mr Ecclestone also has pay- TV deals across Europe with media giants such as Germany's Kirch, Canal Plus in France and Telepiu in Italy.

Revenue this year is forecast to rise to over pounds 200m, on which pre-tax profit is likely to be around pounds 85m. The revenue figure is more than double the amount last year before the new TV deals were signed.

Recent reports suggest the Kirch pay-TV deal is failing to live up to Mr Ecclestone's hopes. "It's had some teething problems with the timing of the take-up, but there isn't anybody who thinks pay-TV won't happen," said Mr Wilson.

In the short term the Kirch deal has little affect on Mr Ecclestone. According to Mr Wilson, Formula One receives a minimum annual payment plus further sums when revenue gets above a certain figure. "It won't be an issue for 1997 and 1998 as nobody expects to get past the minimum for a few years yet."

Mr Ecclestone employs a team of 200 to run a company-owned film unit which broadcasts six tracks of digital signals for pay-per-view TV. "It takes two and half jumbo jets or 30 articulated lorries to move the team and the equipment," said Mr Wilson.

He rejects rumours that Mr Ecclestone's TV deals are largely word-of- mouth, making the new company hard to value. "Formula One has annual revenues already contracted of pounds 240m a year between now and 2001. What's unusual about this company is just how much future revenue is contracted for and known in advance."

On reports that analysts are moaning about a lack of financial information, Mr Wilson said: "Analysts always ask for more information but I don't think there are any complaints." Analysts working for brokers in the selling syndicate led by Salomon Brothers are expected to produce their reports tomorrow.

"Bernie has always kept a tight rein on all information to protect his position in negotiations with broadcasters, teams and promoters," said Mr Wilson. "Now the company is going public that has to be balanced against the need to be more transparent."

As part of the float the Federation Internationale d'Automobile (FIA) will get 10 per cent of the new company. This is in return for the FIA granting Ecclestone's company a new 25-year licence which began on 1 January this year, to manage and exploit Formula One.

Mr Wilson says the row with Tyrrell, McLaren and Williams over sharing TV revenues is really a row between the Formula One teams. These three teams refused to sign the so-called Concorde deal which gives the 10 Grand Prix teams 47 per cent of TV revenues.

"Seven teams signed the deal and collect revenue," says Mr Wilson. " They're not so keen on the three who refused to sign it now wanting to join up and take a share."

According to Mr Wilson, "the logical thing is for them all to give up part of their share of the TV revenues in exchange for shares in the company".

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride