Billionaire killed in helicopter crash

Reuters
·1-min read

The Czech Republic's richest man, billionaire Petr Kellner, has been killed in a helicopter crash in Alaska. He was 56.

Kellner's financial group PPF said five people died in the crash, the circumstances of which are being investigated.

"We announce with the deepest grief that, in a helicopter accident in Alaska mountains on Saturday, March 27, the founder and majority owner of the PPF group, Mr Petr Kellner, died tragically," PPF said in a statement.

FILE - In this Sunday, August 23, 2020 file photo, PPF's main shareholder Petr Kellner watches as his daughter Anna Kellnerova and horse Catch Me If You Can Old compete during the equestrian CET Prague Cup, CSIO Grand Prix, in Prague, Czech Republic. Kellner, Czech Republic's richest man, has been killed in a helicopter crash in Alaska in the United States. He was 56. Kellner was one of the five people, including the pilot who died in the accident on Saturday, March 27, 2021. One person onboard survived.  (Roman Vondrous/CTK via AP, File)
Petr Kellner, pictured in August, watches as his daughter competes during the equestrian CET Prague Cup. Source: AP/File

Kellner was a towering business figure of the Czech post-communist era, with his wealth estimated at $US17.5 billion ($A23b) according to Forbes.

His roots go back to the 1990s when he set up PPF as an investment company with partners to take part in the country's scheme to privatise hundreds of state-owned companies.

PPF went on to grow in insurance, finance, telecommunications, manufacturing, media or biotech in businesses spanning mainly Europe, Asia and the United States.

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