Bank­rupt Becker ‘in­vested in Nige­rian oil’

Tennis star who suf­fered ‘run of bad luck’ may have lost part of for­tune on African com­mod­ity deals

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By Justin Hug­gler in Ber­lin

BORIS BECKER may have lost his £100mil­lion for­tune in part be­cause of ques­tion­able in­vest­ments in the Nige­rian oil in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to claims in the Ger­man press.

Since the 49-year-old for­mer tennis star was de­clared bank­rupt in a Lon- don court last month, spec­u­la­tion has been rife over how he man­aged to squan­der a per­sonal for­tune es­ti­mated at over £100mil­lion.

Ger­many’s Spiegel mag­a­zine has pub­lished claims Mr Becker’s busi­ness deal­ings went far deeper than celebrity en­dorse­ments and me­dia ap­pear­ances.

The mag­a­zine claims he made in­vest­ments in the Nige­rian oil and gas in­dus­try, and at one point con­sid­ered a sin­gle in­vest­ment of more than $10mil­lion (£7.6mil­lion). It also al­leges he had ex­ten­sive links out­side tennis that ranged from African lead­ers to Lak­shmi Mit­tal, the In­dian steel bil­lion­aire, and was seen as some­one who could fa­cil­i­tate busi­ness deals.

The claims cen­tre on doc­u­ments Spiegel says it was shown by Foot­ball Leaks, a whis­tle-blow­ing web­site. They in­clude what pur­port to be in­ter­nal emails from Doyen Global, a sports man­age­ment agency which rep­re­sented Mr Becker for a pe­riod start­ing in late 2013, which re­port­edly show that Becker Pri­vate Of­fice, a com­pany con­trolled by Mr Becker, held ex­ten­sive shares in the Nige­rian oil and gas busi­ness, Spiegel claims. Doyen Global did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

The mag­a­zine claims it has seen de­tails of a sin­gle in­vest­ment of “more than $10mil­lion” in Nige­rian oil pre­pared for Mr Becker by a for­mer as­so­ci­ate and Forbes & Man­hat­tan, a Cana­dian in­vest­ment bank.

Forbes & Man­hat­tan did not re­ply to a re­quest for com­ment.

It is not clear whether Mr Becker went through with the in­vest­ment, or whether it was suc­cess­ful.

Mr Becker’s as­so­ci­a­tion with Doyen was pub­licly pre­sented as an op­por­tu­nity for the com­pany to ex­pand its oper­a­tions in the world of tennis.

The pur­ported in­ter­nal emails leaked to Spiegel note he had met re­cently with Mr Mit­tal and John Ma­hama, the Ghana­ian pres­i­dent at the time, and de­scribe him as “some­one who can open doors for us in cer­tain cir­cles”.

Dur­ing bankruptcy pro­ceed­ings in Lon­don last month, John Briggs, Mr Becker’s lawyer, told the court: “He is not a so­phis­ti­cated in­di­vid­ual when it comes to fi­nances.”

His bankruptcy fol­lowed a run of bad luck, in­clud­ing £20mil­lion in di­vorce and pa­ter­nity set­tle­ments to his first wife, Bar­bara, and An­gela Er­makova, a Rus­sian model, and a two-year sus­pended sen­tence for tax eva­sion.

Mr Becker was not avail­able for com­ment.

Boris Becker was de­scribed as ‘some­one who can open doors’, ac­cord­ing to Spiegel mag­a­zine

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