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Notorious tycoon Tapie ordered to pay back over €400mn to French state

AFP archives

Infamous French business mogul Bernard Tapie on Thursday was ordered to return a €404 million state pay-out he was awarded back in 2008 over the disputed sale of the Adidas sportswear brand.

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France’s highest court of appeals upheld a 2015 ruling that Tapie and his wife repay the eye-watering sum, with no further legal recourse left for the flamboyant tycoon and one-time politician.

Almost one decade ago, an arbitration panel ordered the multi-million euro pay-out to Tapie. Back in 2008, the panel upheld Tapie's claim that the Crédit Lyonnais bank had defrauded him by intentionally undervaluing Adidas at the time of the sale and that the state – as the bank's principal shareholder – should compensate him.

In late June 2013 Tapie was placed under formal investigation for committing fraud in the affair. That same year, a French court ordered the seizure of Tapie's assets worth tens of millions of euros, including a luxury villa on the French Mediterranean coast.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde has also come under scrutiny in the case, with a French court last year convicting her of “negligence” for her role in the generous financial award while she was France’s finance minister.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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