Friday 23 March 2018

Harrington loses €4m in failed firm

Financier Desmond down €14.5m


Golf champion Padraig Harrington has lost around €4m in a failed investment in a UK technology firm, according to a recently filed court document seen by the Sunday Independent.

And the billionaire golfing enthusiast Dermot Desmond has taken a hit of more than €14.3m following an investment in the same company, U4EA Technologies, of which Harrington's brother, Columb was a director.

Reported to be worth at least €17m, but likely to be worth much more, Harrington last year told the Sunday Independent: "I have not lost greatly in any ventures . . . nothing has happened that has had any material effect on me, financially." But he also admitted he was not "immune" from events.

An administrator's progress report, placed before the High Court in Bristol in the UK in June, shows Harrington lost £3,361,716 through his investment in U4EA. The documents also show that Mr Desmond's investment vehicle, IIU Nominees Ltd, lost £11,918,811 in the firm.

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While the popular golfer, who is participating in 3 Irish Open in Killarney this weekend, is expected to earn a multiple of his reported wealth before his playing days are over, the loss of €4m is likely to be painful.

Last year, Harrington quashed rumours he had lost significant sums of money as a result of the economic downturn. "Nasty things have been said about me and I really don't want to lend credence to them by making any comment. For instance, one of the tabloids wanted to know if it was true that I had lost €20m in investments with (Bernie) Madoff, (Allen) Stanford and a few others. They were obviously keen to cover all the bases.

"The answer is that I haven't lost greatly in any ventures. I will not suggest that I was immune from everything, but nothing has happened that has had any material effect on me, financially."

In his almost 13 years as a professional, Harrington has won three majors -- two British Opens and the USPGA -- earning a reported €17m in the process.

U4EA went into administration in July. The group was headed by Harrington's brother, Columb, but he recently resigned as a director of a number of group companies.

Sunday Independent

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