Harrington hit by €17.6m losses with Desmond says report

Padraig Harrington and financier Dermot Desmond are reported to have lost £16m (€17.6m) after the technology firm U4EA Technologies went into administration in July.

According to a report by Ian Kehoe in the Sunday Business Post, Harrington and Desmond ploughed a total of stg£21.8 million into U4EA Technologies in Britain through several rounds of investment in recent years.

“Court documents showed that Desmond’s IIU investment vehicle and Harrington will suffer a shortfall of approximately stg£16 million on their investments.

The breakdown of the losses between IIU and Harrington is not known. U4EA Technologies is a subsidiary of U4EA Ltd, which continues to trade.

The group was headed by Harrington’s brother, Columb, but he recently resigned as a director of a number of group companies.”

The news appears to be at odds with statements by the world No 6 and three time major winner last month, denying huge financial losses.

Speaking at the Portugal Masters, Harrington told Dermot Gilleece in the Sunday Independent: “Nasty things have been said about me and I don't really want to lend any creedence to them. For instance, one of the tabloids wanted to know if it was true that I had lost €20million with (Bernie) Madoff, (Allen) Stanford and a few others. They were obviously keen to cover all the bases.

“The answer is that I haven't lost greatly in any ventures. I won't suggest that I was immune from everything but nothing has happened that has had any material effect on me, financially.”

Those comments were in line with what Harrington told me in June, when I asked him how the global financial meltdown had affected him for a Golf World interview previewing his bid for a hat-trick of Open titles at Turnberry.

Q: Speaking of changes, the world economy is in a huge mess. How has it affected you?

PH: Wow. How do you answer that question? Like everybody else, contracts are affected. But I signed with Wilson Golf and FTI at what turned out to be a very good time, even though it looked like a poor time. Those contracts would certainly not be around nowadays, that’s for sure. As regards investments, I am like everybody else, looking at investments down 25 percent and thinking, hey, that’s okay. The greatest plus for somebody like me compared to someone on the street is that I have an earnings potential going forward and would be able to sustain ups and downs. I can be realistic and look at my portfolio and say some things aren’t going so well and there are plenty of things that have been written off, things that you never would have assessed the risk on. It is easy to be wise after the event. Some guys have had extremes but I have had the average run, let’s say, and as the average run it is not affecting too badly. The fact that I have got positive income streams is always a good way of looking at it. As somebody said to me the other day, birdies are recession-proof.