Bankrupt tennis legend Boris Becker invested heavily in failed Nigerian oil deals

 

Boris Becker may have lost his 100GBP (NZ$179m) million fortune in part because of questionable investments in the Nigerian oil industry, according to claims in the German press.

Since the 49-year-old former tennis star was declared bankrupt in a London court last month, speculation has been rife over how he managed to squander a personal fortune.

Boris Becker made several bad investments in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
PAUL CHILDS/REUTERS

Boris Becker made several bad investments in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Germany's Spiegel magazine has published claims Becker's business dealings went far deeper than celebrity endorsements and media appearances.

READ MORE: Six-time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker declared bankrupt

The magazine claimed he made investments in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, and at one point considered a single investment of more than $13.8 million.

It also alleged he had extensive links outside tennis that ranged from African leaders to Lakshmi Mittal, the Indian steel billionaire, and was seen as someone who could facilitate business deals.

The claims centre on documents Spiegel says it was shown by Football Leaks, a whistle-blowing website.

They include what purport to be internal emails from Doyen Global, a sports management agency which represented Mr Becker for a period starting in late 2013, which reportedly show that Becker Private Office, a company controlled by Becker, held extensive shares in the Nigerian oil and gas business, Spiegel claims.

Doyen Global did not respond to requests for comment.

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The magazine claims it has seen details of a single investment of more than $13.8 million in Nigerian oil prepared for Becker by Forbes & Manhattan, a Canadian investment bank and a former associate of the tennis player.

Forbes & Manhattan did not reply to a request for comment.

It is not clear whether Mr Becker went through with the investment, or whether it was successful.

Becker's association with Doyen was publicly presented as an opportunity for the company to expand its operations in the world of tennis.

The purported internal emails leaked to Spiegel note he had met recently with Mr Mittal and John Mahama, the Ghanaian president at the time, and describe him as "someone who can open doors for us in certain circles".

During bankruptcy proceedings in London last month, John Briggs, Mr Becker's lawyer, told the court: "He is not a sophisticated individual when it comes to finances."

His bankruptcy followed a run of bad luck, including $27.4m in divorce and paternity settlements to his first wife, Barbara, and Angela Ermakova, a Russian model, and a two-year suspended sentence for tax evasion.

Becker was not available for comment.

 - The Telegraph, London

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