French tycoon Bernard Tapie placed under investigation

French businessman Bernard Tapie (file photo) Mr Tapie claimed that a state-owned bank had defrauded him by undervaluing his stake in Adidas, and an arbitration panel agreed

Related Stories

French tycoon Bernard Tapie has been officially placed under investigation by prosecutors investigating corruption claims.

He has been in custody since Monday.

The controversial business figure and supporter of former president Nicolas Sarkozy received a huge payout in 2007 to settle a long-running legal battle with the French state.

The head of the IMF, former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, is a key witness in the case.

She decided to use arbitration to settle the dispute, which ultimately resulted in Mr Tapie receiving compensation of 400m euros (£342m; $516m).

Background

  • 1993: Credit Lyonnais bank handles sale of Adidas, in which Bernard Tapie is a majority stakeholder
  • 1993-2007: Court battle drags on as Mr Tapie claims Credit Lyonnais undervalued the sale and that he was cheated following the winding-up of the once publicly-owned bank
  • 2007: Mr Tapie, a former Socialist, switches to support Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential election. Christine Lagarde, Mr Sarkozy's finance minister, intervenes in the Tapie case to order binding arbitration
  • 2008: Special panel of judges rules Mr Tapie should receive damages of 285m euros (400m after interest added)

The Court of Justice of the Republic, which investigates ministerial misconduct, has been examining claims that the tycoon may have received favourable treatment because of his support for Mr Sarkozy.

In May Ms Lagarde was made an assisted witness in the case after two days of questioning, meaning she will be called upon to testify but is not directly under suspicion.

The affair dates back to 1993 when Mr Tapie sold his stake in sports company Adidas to Credit Lyonnais. Soon afterwards, the bank sold on the stake for a profit.

Mr Tapie claimed the partially state-owned bank had defrauded him by deliberately undervaluing Adidas at the time of the sale, and the arbitration panel eventually found in his favour.

The businessman's lawyer, Herve Temime, said he denied any wrongdoing and added that there was "nothing in the case to show the decision on the payout was the result of fraud".

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.