Three-time Major winning golfer Pádraig Harrington has said his management company, IMG, set up the offshore fund that appears in the Panama Papers.
The leaked files of the Panama-headquartered Mossack Fonseca law firm show that the Irish golfer was a shareholder, along with other major sports figures, in a Panamanian company called Marksmen Guaranteed Fund V SA.
"My management company, IMG, set up the fund," he told The Irish Times. "All monies I invested and received from it were tax compliant."
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 30 countries. It represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons, according to its website.
The global group stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. In 2014, it was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.
Mossack Fonseca acted as registered agent for Markmen Guaranteed Fund V, and a number of other companies of similar names, at the behest of its client, International Management Group (Overseas) Inc, with an address in Monaco. Marksmen, which invested in shares, was incorporated in 1998 and dissolved in 2005, according to theMossack files.
The leaked documents include minutes of an annual general meeting held in Monaco in May 2000 and attended by Mr Harrington by way of proxy, along with Welsh golfer Ian Woosnam, Swedish tennis player Thomas Enqvist, and South African golfer Retief Goosen. The meeting approved the annual accounts for 1998, and other matters.
A copy of the 1999 accounts shows shareholders’ funds of $4 million at the end of that year, and lists shareholdings in such US public companies as Xerox, Abbott Laboratories, Intel and Bristol Myers Squibb. The accounts say that 245 shares in the company, costing $10,000 each, were issued in July 1998, and that the fund is to run for five years. Investments that cost $2.3 million when bought were valued at just double that at the end of the period.