Former owner of Adidas attacked and burgled at his home

Business Insider US
Bernard Tapie.
  • Former Adidas owner Bernard Tapie and his wife Dominique were attacked at home by burglars.
  • Tapie was hit over the head and Dominique was pulled by the hair, BBC News reports.
  • Dominique was able to escape and call for help.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

French business tycoon, former politician, and one-time prisoner Bernard Tapie was tied up and physically assaulted by masked thieves who stole jewellery from his home in Combs-la-Ville, near Paris, BBC News and The Independent reports.

The former Adidas owner, 78, and his wife Dominique, 70, were asleep when four men made their way past the security guards undetected by climbing a porch and entering the property through the first floor window, according to The Independent. The incident took place overnight on Saturday.

Police outside Tapie's home in Combs-la-Ville, France.

The intruders tied the couple up with electrical cords, hit Tapie over the head with a club, and hit Dominique several times.

They pulled Dominique by the hair because "because they wanted to know where the treasure was," Guy Geoffroy, the mayor of Combs-La-Ville, told AFP.

"But of course there was no treasure, and the fact that they didn't find it made the violence only worse," he added.

The men reportedly stole two watches, including a Rolex, earrings, bracelets, and a ring.

Dominique was able to free herself and ran to a neighbour's home, where she called the police. She was taken to hospital for her injuries, and is "doing well," her grandson Rodolphe Tapie told BBC News.

Tapie, meanwhile, reportedly refused to go to the hospital for his injuries.

"He is shattered, very tired," Rodolphe said of his condition.

Tapie, often described in the media as a flamboyant character, became known for buying up and helping to revive bankrupted companies through the 1980s and 1990s. He also dabbled in showbusiness and politics.

He owned the Olympique Marseille soccer team and won a seat in French parliament in 1989 during Francois Mitterrand's presidency.

He bought an 80% stake in Adidas in 1990, when the sportswear firm had lost market share, before selling his share three years late to become a cabinet minister.

He was declared bankrupt in 1995 and went to prison for several months after being found guilty of corruption and fraud.