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Born 22 April 1938 (1938-04-22) (age 71)
Hammersmith, London, England, UK
Conviction(s) Fraud

Alan Bond (born 22 April 1938) is an Australian businessman noted for his criminal convictions and high-profile business dealings, including what was at the time the biggest corporate collapse in Australian history. Bond was born in the Hammersmith district of London, England, and emigrated to Australia with his parents and sister Geraldine in 1950. Beginning his career as a signwriter, he formed what was to be Bond Corporation in 1959. He became a public hero in his adopted country after bankrolling challenges for the yachting trophy the America's Cup, which resulted in his selection as Australian of the Year in 1978, jointly with Galarrwuy Yunupingu. He finally won the trophy in 1983, which had been held by the New York Yacht Club since 1851.

Contents

History

Lippo Centre, 1987, Developed by Alan Bond, a landmark building in Hong Kong

The Perth-based Bond made his fortune initially in property development and at one time was one of Australia's most prominent businesspeople. In 1970 he bought three America's Cup bid yachts from Sir Frank Packer. He later extended his business interests into other fields including brewing (he controlled Castlemaine Tooheys and G. Heileman Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin), gold mining and television. Australia's first private university, Bond University, bears his name.

He purchased QTQ-9, Brisbane and settled an outstanding defamation dispute the station had with the Queensland premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen by paying out AUD$400,000. He said in a television interview several years later that he paid because "Sir Joh left no doubt that if we were going to continue to do business successfully in Queensland then he expected the matter to be resolved".

In 1987, Bond purchased Vincent Van Gogh's renowned painting, Irises,[1] for $54 million — at the time a world record for a single painting. The purchase was however funded by a substantial loan from the auctioneer, Sotheby's, which Bond subsequently refused to repay and the painting was re-sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in 1990.

Also in 1987, he was the developer of the Bond Center constructed in Hong Kong. It is currently known as the Lippo Centre, Hong Kong.

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Purchasing the Nine Network

In 1987 he paid $1 billion for the Australia-wide Nine television network from Kerry Packer's PBL. In a 2003 interview with Andrew Denton, Bond described the negotiations as follows:

"...when we first sat down, we said, 'We're either going to sell our stations to you for $400 million, or you're going to sell your stations to us.' And he said, 'Well, I don't really want to sell my stations.' And I said, 'Oh, is that right?' So, anyway, after much discussion, Kerry thumped the table and said, 'Listen, if you can pay me $1 billion, I'll sell them to you, otherwise bugger off...' then I rang the National Australia Bank. I said, 'Look, I'm in discussions here to buy these television stations. Kerry will sell to me, and what I want to do is put our stations together and then, with Sky Channel, I'm going to float it off as a separate entity and raise the capital to pay for it... [Packer] said $1 billion [was his asking price], but I think I'll get it for $800 million...' [The bank manager] duly rang back and said yes. I said, 'Thank God. I'll go and have some further negotiations with Kerry,' which I did. And true to his word, he never budged one penny off it. So I settled the deal with $800 million and a $200 million note. So he put his own $200 million in. So I had $1 billion. And we put our other two stations up as collateral, which were worth probably $400 million."[2]

Bond later ended up selling the network back to PBL in 1990 for $250 million in the midst of his business empire collapsing. Packer was quoted as saying "You only get one Alan Bond in your lifetime, and I've had mine".[2]

Bankruptcy

Part of the series on
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International

Criminals by nationality

In 1992 Bond was declared bankrupt with personal debts totalling AUD$1.8 Billion. In 1995 Bond's family bought him out of bankruptcy, with creditors accepting a payment of AUD$12 Million, a little over half a cent per dollar.

In 1997 Bond was sentenced to 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to using his controlling interest in Bell Resources to deceptively siphon off AUD$1.2 Billion into the coffers of Bond Corporation. The funds were used to shore up the cash resources of the ailing Bond Corporation, which spectacularly collapsed leaving Bell Resources in a precarious situation. Bond was released in 2000 having served four years in prison.

Bond today

In 2003, Bond was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame.

Since 2004, interests related to the Bond family have held a large block of non-voting shares in Madagascar Oil, a business he co-founded with Sam Malin and Robert Nelson. Interests related to the Bond family also control Global Diamond Resources plc (formerly Lesotho Diamond Corporation) which is developing the Kao diamond pipe in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

In 2008, Bond made a return to the Business Review Weekly's "Rich 200 List" in 157th spot, with an estimated wealth of $265 million thanks primarily to his stakes in Madagascar Oil and Global Diamond Resources.[3][4][5]

Also in 2008, Bond's attempt at pursuing his sometime biographer over online claims about his dealings was lost.[6]

References

Books

  • Terence Maher, Bond, William Heinemann Australia, 1990 ISBN 0-85561-336-X
  • Paul Barry, The Rise And Fall Of Alan Bond, Bantam Books, 1991 ISBN 1-86359-037-4
  • Alan Bond and Rob Mundle, Bond, HarperCollinsPublishers Pty Limited, 2004 ISBN 0-7322-7494-X

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Dame Raigh Roe and
Sir Murray Tyrrell
Australian of the Year Award
1978
Served alongside: Galarrwuy Yunupingu
Succeeded by
Senator Neville Bonner
and Harry Butler

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