Australian television legend Reg Grundy is firming as the likely person behind a mysterious $200,000 donation to the Free Enterprise Foundation, an entity closely linked to the Liberal and National parties.
The donation was made last financial year by a company called Akira Investments Ltd, whose mailing address was listed with election funding authorities as the luxury Les Caravelles building overlooking Monte Carlo's famous harbour, Port Hercules.
Reg Grundy link to $200,000 donation
Television legend Reg Grundy is linked to a company that donated $200,000 to the Liberal Party-linked Free Enterprise Foundation.
In recent years Akira Investments has been linked to two of Mr Grundy's major assets - a luxury super yacht and a private jet.
The 90-year-old Mr Grundy, worth an estimated $800 million, lives in Shell Point Road, Tuckers Town, in Bermuda. He made his fortune producing some of the nation's best known television shows such as Neighbours, Wheel of Fortune, Sale of the Century and Prisoner.
Akira Investments is cited in international shipping registers as the owner of Mr Grundy's 76 metre super yacht, Boadicea,which is listed as one of the 100 largest yachts in the world.
At one stage the yacht and its crew of 25 was available for charter at $500,000 per week. It boasts five decks, a 14-seat cinema, seven bedrooms and nine separate dining areas.
The media-shy Mr Grundy had an asking price of $120 million when he had it up for sale in 2009. Boadicea, which has since been renamed Reborn, was sold to controversial French business tycoon Bernard Tapie.
Mr Tapie, a former minister, was last year placed under investigation for organised fraud relating to a government payout he received in 2008 relating to a dispute over the sale of the Adidas sports brand. Mr Tapie has denied any wrongdoing.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration records also show that until last month Akira Investments was the registered owner of a $74 million private jet belonging to Mr Grundy.
The Boeing 737-7BC (BBJ), with a distinctive “RJ” [for Reg and wife Joy Chambers] insignia on its tail, was photographed by aircraft enthusiasts at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport as recently as last year.
The Australian Electoral Commission has confirmed that Akira Investments has failed to lodge a donation disclosure form for the $200,000 donation as required by law.
Fairfax Media is trying to contact Mr Grundy for comment.
The Liberal party's federal director Brian Loughnane has not returned a request for comment.
The long-standing trustee of the FEF, Canberra accountant Tony Bandle, has declined to respond to requests for comment.
Mr Bandle was recently grilled at the Independent Commission Against Corruption over the role of the FEF, which is being investigated in relation to funnelling illegal donations to the NSW Liberal party before the 2011 state election.