Bankrupt Becker ‘invested in Nigerian oil’
Tennis star who suffered ‘run of bad luck’ may have lost part of fortune on African commodity deals
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