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Monday, June 28, 1999 Published at 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK

Business: Your Money

Elton John 'in debt'

Don't let the sun go down on me: superstar said to need money

Sir Elton John is reported to have asked a merchant bank to help him borrow 25m ($40m) to pay off a huge accumulation of debts in the UK and the US.

The 52-year-old pop star, who has a reputation for a lavish lifestyle, is said to have approached Samuel Montagu - the private finance arm of HSBC - to arrange a deal which would allow him to use future earnings from his music as security for the loan.

[ image: Sir Elton: Not the first pop star to cash in on future earnings]
Sir Elton: Not the first pop star to cash in on future earnings
Sir Elton has an estimated wealth of 160m ($256m), including a 37-acre estate in Windsor, a house at Holland Park in west London, other properties in the US and France and a fleet of 20 luxury cars.

The loan is likely to be secured against revenues from his hits over the past 30 years, which still bring in substantial royalty earnings.

Similar one-off payments against future earnings have been arranged by financial institutions for pop stars David Bowie and Rod Stewart and the heavy metal band, Iron Maiden.

Sir Elton's credit-card bills have been reported to average 250,000 ($400,000) a month and his accountants - PricewaterhouseCoopers - said last year that his business empire was endangered by the high spending.

Sir Elton has since taken legal action against PWC and Andrew Haydon, the former managing director of his management company, who are defending the action.

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