money man

Who is Matteo de Nora, the ETNZ benefactor who doesn’t like the limelight?

He has a house in Monte Carlo (and one in Northland) and is a member of the de Nora family, which owns a business empire that spans the globe; it deals principally in sophisticated fuel cells and turns over about US$600 million ($769 million) a year. This is the man who Grant Dalton often says saved Team NZ; they were unable to pay the bills until de Nora stepped in back in 2003.

Even though the Government funded $34 million of Team NZ’s 2007 campaign against Alinghi, that campaign would not have happened without de Nora persuading the members of the financing syndicate to pitch in, as he had.

He doesn’t like to talk about the money but, in 2003, he stumped up with “$400,000 or $500,000” to pay the bills. He has only said, in one reluctant interview in 2007, that he has given Team NZ “millions” but said it was nothing like the $20 million that had been reported at that time.

Whatever the figure is, it will be a lot more now. This campaign, in Dalton’s words, has cost “somewhere north of US$100 million”. More here thanks to the NZ Herald.