Businessman, entrepreneur, formerly one of Australia’s richest men, and also one of our largest fraudsters, Alan Bond has passed away in Perth at the age of 77, following complications after heart surgery.
His family announced Bond’s passing in a short media statement this afternoon. Bond had been in intensive care following surgery to repair issues with his heart valves at the Fiona Stanley Hospital. He never regained consciousness following the operation.
Bond was notable for being the money man behind one of the most stunning sporting triumphs in our nation’s history, when his Australia II group successfully sailed their way to the America’s Cup in 1983. This was the first time the New York Yacht Club had ever lost the trophy, breaking a streak that extended 132 years, all the way back to 1851.
The cup victory sparked massive celebrations across the nation, and prompted then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke to utter the now iconic line “Any boss who sacks a worker for not turning up to work today is a bum.”
Bond initially made his fortune in property development, before moving on to other ventures. He sensationally purchased the Nine Network from Kerry Packer in 1987 for a price of $1billion.
Bond’s subsequent bankruptcy in 1992 sparked one of the nation’s largest ever corporate collapses, eventuating in Bond pleading guilty to siphoning $1.2billion from Bell Resources to shore up the Bond Corporation, which subsequently imploded. Bond spent four years in Karnet Prison Farm for his actions, and was stripped of his Officer of the Order of Australia, awarded to him in 1984 following the Australia II triumph.
Alan Bond was a polarising figure in the annals of Australian history – representing some of the nation’s giddiest heights, and some of our most spectacular lows. Kerry Packer himself once famously stated of him, “You only get one Alan Bond in your lifetime, and I’ve had mine.”
Truer words were never spoken.
RIP, Alan Bond.
Photo: Tony Feder via Getty Images.