You are here

Colourful Australian businessman Alan Bond dies

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 12:37
ALAN050615e.jpg
Alan Bond, the high-flying Australian America's Cup hero turned convicted fraudster, died on Friday aged 77 following complications from open heart surgery.

[SYDNEY] Alan Bond, the high-flying Australian America's Cup hero turned convicted fraudster, died on Friday aged 77 following complications from open heart surgery.

His children John, Craig and Jody announced his death outside the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, where he had been in an induced coma since surgery on Tuesday.

"His body finally gave out after heroic efforts of everyone involved here at the intensive care unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital," the children said.

"He never regained consciousness after his surgery on Tuesday." Bond became a national hero when he led a team that won the America's Cup yachting showcase from America in 1983, bankrolling Australia II's historic win over Dennis Connor's Liberty.

But his empire crumbled in the 1990s and he was eventually bankrupted. He was later convicted in 1996 of swindling Aus$1.2 billion (US$800 million at the time) to prop up his ailing Bond Corporation.

He served three years in jail for what was then Australia's biggest corporate fraud.

Bond, who emigrated from Britain at 11 with his parents and left school in Australia at 14, worked first as a signwriter, before going on to start the Bond Corporation, which at its height was one of Australia's biggest business empires.

It allowed him to indulge his love of yachting, with Australia II's comeback 4-3 victory off Newport, Rhode Island, in 1983 still considered one of Australia's top sporting moments.

The win, aided by Australia II's revolutionary winged keel, ended the United States' 132-year dominance of the America's Cup, the longest winning streak in sporting history.

AFP