Corkman and globe-trotting former fashion salesman Liam Casey, also known as ‘Mr China', has built up a huge business, PCH, in consumer electronics and hardware design, manufacturing and distribution.
If a firm wants a new electronic gadget, his company will design it, make it and ship it to the customer, taking a cut of the earnings in return.
The firm was backed by blue chip venture capital investors Cross Creek and Triangle Peak Capital, who put in about $50m, and Casey is believed to own a third of the business, which is thought to have turned over $1bn in 2015, though its accounts are unlimited.
But the past year has been a tough one for the company, with the loss of a key contract with Apple — on which it has never commented — resulting in an announcement last June that it was laying off 1,500 workers mainly in China and closing some of its factories there.
In a bid to slim down the business further, in February PCH sold off TNS Connect, a distributor of emerging technologies and accessories to retailers.
Though Casey has backed start-ups such as the Collison brothers' Stripe and Pat Phelan's Trustev, and will have made money from them, his stake in PCH may now be worth less; a customer as significant as
Apple may be irreplaceable.