Vodafone Denies Jordan Claims

Vodafone hit back today in its 150 million-pound ($252.3 million) High Court battle with Formula One racing team Jordan, which claims the mobile phone giant wrongly pulled out of a sponsorship deal.

Vodafone Denies Jordan Claims

Vodafone hit back today in its 150 million-pound ($252.3 million) High Court battle with Formula One racing team Jordan, which claims the mobile phone giant wrongly pulled out of a sponsorship deal.

Launching its defence, Vodafone said it did not enter into a binding three-year agreement with Jordan as a result of a telephone conversation between its global branding director David Haines and the racing team's boss Eddie Jordan.

Jordan had earlier argued that Haines told Jordan 'You've got the deal' and that, based on previous negotiations between the parties, this statement constituted a binding agreement.

Vodafone claims that, while it conducted discussions with Jordan and four other Formula One constructors in 2001, no agreement was reached with Jordan and no binding contract existed.

It says that as of March 22, 2001 when the conversation between Haines and Jordan is alleged to have taken place, Jordan was aware that many essential terms of any such agreement remained unresolved and that Vodafone had yet to discuss any Formula One sponsorship proposals with its governing bodies.

It claims that, in a letter written after that date, Eddie Jordan recognised that any sponsorship agreement would have to be in writing, and that other correspondence shows that the race team were aware that no agreement had been reached.

It says it is unheard of in Formula One circles for such an important deal to be concluded verbally, and that Jordan was aware that no sponsorship agreement of this value would be entered into in such a way.

It also argues that Haines, who was travelling in the back of a car in Germany at the time, had neither actual nor ostensible authority to conclude a deal of this magnitude, and at no time held himself out to Jordan as having that authority.

The hearing continues.

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