Updated: 13/12/16 : 05:40:57
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Ex Sligo factory boss 'got 405 million bonanza'

A SLIGO factory owner got a government bonanza worth 405 million euro.

One of the most powerful women in world finance even supported the deal.

Yesterday she faced trial and it could yet cost her one of the foremost glitzy jobs on the globe. See link below

Bernard Tapie was a surprise arrival on Sligo's business circuit when he became one of the later owners of Hansons at Cleveragh. 

His famous business stakes included Adidas and Olympic Marseille football club, which won the Champions League in 1993. 

Acquisitions were his hallmark and passport to fame.....and riches.

Personal Friend

He was a personal friend of former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. 

There Tapie's troubles began....and certainly trouble for political colleague Christine Lagarde.

She is now the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, based in Washington.

Critics Claimed

The 405 million package was, her critics claimed, rigged to reward Mr Tapie, a socialist, for supporting the election campaign of Sarkozy.

Her trial opened before a tribunal sitting in Paris yesterday, Monday.

If convicted Lagarde could face one year in jail plus a 15,000 fine, the Financial Times reported yesterday.

Meanwhile, Hansons in Cleveragh had continued to manufacture precision instruments such as clocks and bathroom scales for export.

It closed its doors nearly two decades ago but was one of Sligo's busiest employers for nearly four decades.

Bernard Tapie acquired Hansons in the late 1980s through his subsidiary, Terraillon. 

Such businesses were usually fixed and sold on by Tapie, once a socialist minister in the French parliament. 

However, a bank decision to sell his stake in Adidas without his consent eventually led to a compensation package from his government. 

In the world before corporate logos, the distinctive 'three stripes' of Adidas were famed across the planet.

Lagarde was then the senior person in France's Ministry of Finance and approved the compo worth over 400 million when details of the deal came to her desk.

More recently, courts ordered that the 405 million euro be fully repaid -- and with interest too -- by the 73 year old factory owner, former minister, TV star and football club owner.

Link : Sligo Today 13/12/2016