Bernard Tapie is a French businessman and industrialist who previously owned Adidas: 1989-1993. Bernard Tapie was born in Paris on the 26th of January, 1943; his mother was Raymonde (born Nodot) Tapie. While Tapie is most notable for being a businessman, he has also tried 'his hand' at being a politician, singer, actor, singer, and chat show host. He is one of France's most recognisable and prominent personalities, and continues to manage the Tapie Group; who recently tried to purchase Full Tilt Poker and the Hersant Media group.
Bernard Tapie specialises in purchasing bankrupt companies and returning them to profitability. In 1989, Tapie made his most bold purchase: Adidas. Horst Dassler - son of Adidas' founder Adolf Dassler - died suddenly in 1987, and left Adidas in a leadership crisis. The remaining members of the Dassler decided to make Adidas a public company - in Germany it is termed a Aktiengesellschaft (AG) - and Tapie purchased a majority of the stocks from the Dassler family. Tapie paid in the region 1.6 billion francs; which is in the region of $300 million.
Tapie funded the purchase of Adidas through a range of bank loans; including Japanese and German banks. Tapie's ownership of Adidas was not a successful one: Adidas recorded a record loss in 1992 and nearly entered bankruptcy. Due to the financial difficulties of Adidas, Tapie probably had trouble servicing the loans he took to fund the purchase of the company. In 1993, Tapie employed Crédit Lyonnais to sell Adidas for him, and, Adidas were eventually sold to group of investors who assigned Robert Louis-Dreyfusas the new CEO.
Bernard Tapie's ownership of Adidas is overshadowed by his ownership of the Olympique de Marseille football club (1986-1994) when they/he was accused of fixing football matches. Under his leadership, Olympique de Marseille won a number of French league titles and the Champions League; purchasing famous footballers like Chris Waddle. Olympique de Marseille were accused of fixing French League matches and Champions League matches: they were found guilty of fixing French league matches and stripped of a French League Championship. Tapie eventually served eight months in prison.
Recently, Bernard Tapie has demanded compensation - amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars - for being 'duped' into selling Adidas for less than it's value by the French state-controlled Credit Lyonnais bank.