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Family business owner donates $40 million

A shipping billionaire has made a large donation to the National Maritime Museum in London. Sammy Ofer (pictured far right), whose empire includes Israeli shipping giant ZIM and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, has pledged $40 million for a new wing in the museum.

Ofer served in the British Royal Navy before starting a shipping business with his brother, Juli. The business now operates a significant part of its fleet from London and Ofer's two sons, Eyal and Idan, manage different branches of the group. The family's wealth is estimated at $4 billion.

"Sammy is a man who has been key to the global maritime industry for many years and who, through his close relations with the London shipping community and the City of London, has formed an admiration and respect for the long maritime history of this country," said Lord Sterling, chairman of the National Maritime Museum.

Confirming his support for the new wing, Ofer said, "I look forward to helping this hugely exciting project and believe it will be a great step forward for the Museum." The donation is believed to be the largest single donation by an individual to a cultural project in the UK.

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