German billionaire Otto Beisheim, founder of Metro retail group, dies at 89

BERLIN – The billionaire founder of German retail group Metro AG, Otto Beisheim, has died at 89.

Public relations firm Brunswick Group confirmed on behalf of his company German media reports that Beisheim had committed suicide at his home in Rottach-Egern in southern Germany on Monday.

It said in a statement that he had been suffering from an incurable disease and “departed life due to the hopelessness of his health condition.”

Beisheim co-founded Metro in 1964. He owned some 10 per cent of publicly traded stock in the company, which has 280,000 employees in 32 countries and has a market capitalization of some €7.9 billion ($10.55 billion).

Beisheim, who was known for his charitable and cultural philanthropy, left no direct survivors and his fortune will go to two charitable trusts.

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