Adidas mogul and multi-billionaire Beranard Tapie has died aged 78

Adidas mogul and multi-billionaire Beranard Tapie has died at the age of 78. image: Wikipedia

Adidas mogul and multi-billionaire Beranard Tapie has died at the age of 78 of stomach cancer while facing a fraud trial.

The multibillion-dollar French businessman and former president of Olympique de Marseille (OM) who led the football club to the Champions League title in 1993, died this Sunday, October 3 at the age of 78. Tapie’s family, as well as many French politicians and OM club football, announced his death.

“Dominique Tapie and her family are extremely sad to announce the death of her husband and their father, Bernard Tapie, this Sunday,” her family said in a statement to the newspaper La Provence in Marseille, in which Tapie was the majority shareholder .

“Olympique de Marseille learned with deep sadness of the death of Bernard Tapie. He will leave a great void in the hearts of the Marseillais and will forever remain in the legend of the club, “OM said in a statement.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex had previously paid tribute to Tapie, who was government minister in the 1990s, calling him a “fighter”. Tapie, whose business interests also included a stake in global sportswear company Adidas, had suffered from stomach cancer for about four years.

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Tapie also dabbled in politics and became Minister of Urban Affairs in the socialist government of François Mitterrand in the 1990s, he then also became a member of the French and European parliaments.

However, his entire empire fell dramatically in the late 1990s, beginning with a match-fixing trial after which he served a prison sentence. He was then sued for his takeover of German sports brand Adidas in 1990, which he was forced to sell a few years later to the state-owned bank Crédit Lyonnais.

A court found him guilty of fraud over an arbitration settlement with the bank – he claimed he was cheated on the sale price – and an appeals court is due to render its decision on Wednesday.

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