FORMER Western Australia tycoon Alan Bond has died, aged 77.
The controversial businessman had been in intensive care earlier this week following heart surgery.
He had been placed in an induced coma at Fiona Stanley Hospital after triple bypass surgery.
He died today about 10am Perth time today.
Mr Bond, who split his time between Perth and London, reportedly became ill in London and decided to return home for the open heart surgery. It is understood he had been in Perth for the past five weeks.
In a statement to the media today, Bond’s son John reflected on his father’s life.
“To a lot of people, dad was a larger than life character … but to us he was just dad,” John said.
“He was a larger than life character who really did experience the highs and lows of life.
“You had to have a five-year business plan when you first met him.”
He added that Bond was a family man, with eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A hospital spokeswoman said: “All efforts were made to improve his outcome. Unfortunately he passed away.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, his three surviving children John, Craig and Jody confirmed the one-time business great had been ill.
They said he had travelled back to Perth to undergo heart surgery to replace a heart valve that was installed 20 years ago. He also had surgery to two other valves in his heart.
Mr Bond gained international fame after his yacht Australia II won the America’s Cup in 1983, breaking Australia’s 132-year winning streak.
He also rose to become one of the most high profile businessmen in Australia, but his empire came crashing down in the early 1990s.
In his most infamous deal, Bond bought the Nine Network from Kerry Packer for $1 billion but sold it back to the billionaire for a fraction of the price just three years later.
The sale prompted Packer’s famous quip: “You only get one Alan Bond in your life and I’ve had mine.”
He was jailed for fraud after he used Bell Resources funds to try to stave off the 1992 collapse of Bond Corporation. The business, which spanned brewing, resources, property and media, was crippled under $1.8 billion in debts.
The Australian Security and Investment Commission (ASIC) banned Mr Bond from directing or managing companies for five years after his prison release in 2000.
He was later involved in a string of unsuccessful African gold and diamond ventures but had built further investment companies in recent years.
Later in life, he was hit by tragedy when his second wife Diana Bliss took her own life in 2012.
His former wife, Eileen Bond, who lives in the UK, was understood to have had plans to fly to Perth, but didn’t make it in time to say goodbye to Bond.