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German Billionaire commits suicide – controls Heidelberg Cement

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    Charles Randall

    <Cement industry is largest consumer of Fuel Petcoke & since this guy was largest shareholder of EU Heidleberg Cement the financial problems that led to the suicide could have backwash problems – CER>
    Five facts on German billionaire Adolf Merckle
    Reuters 01/06/09  – 1 hour 19 mins ago

    (Reuters) – German billionaire Adolf Merckle, whose family controls Heidelberg Cement and generic drug company Ratiopharm, has committed suicide, his family said on Tuesday.
    Here are five facts on Adolf Merckle:
    * Merckle suffered big losses last year and came under pressure to sell some assets or seek bridging loans after sellers of shares in carmaker Volkswagen AG were caught short by a stakebuilding announcement from VW’s biggest shareholder Porsche that sent the VW share price rocketing.
    * The father of four was the world’s 94th-richest person in 2008, according to Forbes magazine, and had assembled a business conglomerate with about 100,000 employees and 30 billion euros (27.3 billion pounds) in annual sales.
    * Merckle’s fortune was based on an inheritance from his Bohemian grandfather but he grew the chemical wholesale company into Germany‘s largest drugs wholesaler, Phoenix Pharmahandel, with annual sales of 21.6 billion euros, according to Forbes.
    * The Merckle family’s vast portfolio of business interests also includes generic drugs maker Ratiopharm and a majority stake in HeidelbergCement as well as stakes in a maker of grooming vehicles for ski slopes, a sugar refinery and one of Germany’s oldest foundries.
    * Media-shy Merckle, who died at the age of 74 and was a lawyer by education, lived in the southwest German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and was said to enjoy skiing and mountain climbing.
    (Editing by Greg Mahlich)


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