Monday, November 30, 2009

Padraig Harrington has lost millions in downturn, report claims

By Lawrence Donegan
Twice Open champion Padraig Harrington and Dermot Desmond, the major shareholder of Celtic Football Club, have lost £16m after the collapse of a British-based technology company, it was reported yesterday.
The Dublin-based Sunday Business Post said the two men had invested heavily – to the tune of £21.8m – in the company U4EA Technologies, which went into administration in July. Court documents show that Desmond's investment company, IIU, and Harrington will suffer a shortfall of approximately £16m.
Earlier this year Harrington, who will travel to California this week to play in Tiger Woods' charity event, the Chevron World Challenge, addressed rumours circulating in Dublin that he had lost significant sums of money in the aftermath of the global financial 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 20 million in investments with [Bernie] Madoff, [Allen] Stanford and a few others. They were obviously keen to cover all the bases," he said.
"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."
Prior to that the Irishman conceded his investments had lost about a quarter of their value.

"I am like everybody else, looking at investments down 25% and thinking, hey, that's OK. The greatest plus for somebody like me compared to someone on the street is that I have an earnings potential going forward and would be able to sustain ups and downs. As somebody said to me the other day, birdies are recession-proof," he said.
Desmond is reputed to be one of Ireland's richest men, with earning said to be in the hundreds of millions. Harrington, meanwhile, has made an estimated £20m in a professional golf career stretching back to 1996.



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