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FB Roundup: Petr Kellner, Amancio Ortega, Keshub Mahindra

In this week’s roundup, Petr Kellner’s heirs sue two years after his helicopter crash death; Amancio Ortega branches out into luxury Dublin property; and tributes are paid to former Mahindra Group chairman Keshub Mahindra.
Czech billionaire entrepreneur Petr Kellner.

Petr Kellner’s heirs sue following helicopter crash death
The heirs of Petr Kellner have filed a lawsuit citing “Potential negligence” after a helicopter crash caused the death of the Czech billionaire entrepreneur and four others in 2021.

Renata Kellnerova, the widow of the former richest Czech, and her family are seeking further investigation into the causes that led to the Airbus AS350 B3 helicopter crash, which took place while the group were heliskiing in Alaska's backcountry near Knik Glacier.

Kellner’s family, including his four children, have a collective net worth of $12.4 billion (according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index), much of which was grown after he founded the investment fund PPF (První Privatizační Fond) in 1991 following the announcement of the Czechoslovak voucher-for-shares privatisation scheme.

The family, which owns 98.9 per cent of PPF with assets totaling more than €43.6 billion across financial services, telecoms, media, engineering, biotech and property, had intended to withhold legal action pending publication of the official report, but the family were compelled to file the lawsuit before the two-year statute of limitations expired on March 27.

The lawsuit names Soloy Helicopters; Triumvirate LLC, the owners of Tordrillo Mountain Lodge where Kellner was staying; and former heli-ski guide service Third Edge Alaska LLC, as defendants.

“Triumvirate LLC and its employees again express condolences to the families who lost loved ones and to the survivor who was injured in the helicopter crash,” read a statement from Triumvirate. “To be clear, Triumvirate LLC was not responsible for the crash and there is no merit to the claims against Triumvirate LLC.”

Then aged 56, Kellner was seriously injured in the crash, according to the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of his family. He later died while waiting to be rescued.

The sole survivor of the helicopter crash, Czech snowboarder David Horvath, is separately suing the lodge over injuries he suffered.

Amancio Ortega branches out into luxury Dublin property
Amancio Ortega, the Spanish billionaire founder of Inditex (the global fashion retailer which counts Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, and others amongst its brands) has purchased his first property in Ireland with a €100 million luxury apartment building in Dublin.

The Opus building, located at the Grand Canal Dock area of the city, was bought from real estate investor Angelo Gordon and Carysfort Capital, according to a spokesman for Ortega’s family office, Pontegadea Inversiones.

The Dublin purchase marks Pontegadea’s latest investment in luxury properties after the recent acquisition of the 19 Dutch apartment building in New York’s Financial District (in an estimated $500 million deal).

Pontegadea, which manages the dividends from Ortega’s 59 per cent stake in clothing chain giant Inditex, is believed to be assertively hunting for new investments due to Spanish tax stipulations.

Ortega, who is Spain’s wealthiest person and the 14th-richest person in the world with a $80.9 billion fortune (according to Forbes), has also recently been diversifying into infrastructure with a stake in an undersea telecoms cable company, electricity and gas networks in Spain and Portugal, and a renewable energy project with global power firm Repsol.

Tributes paid to India’s oldest billionaire Keshub Mahindra
Indian business luminaries have honoured the life of Keshub Mahindra, the former chairman of Indian multinational automotive manufacturing corporation Mahindra & Mahindra, who has passed away at the age of 99.

“The industrial world has lost one of the tallest personalities today,” said Pawan K Goenka, former managing director of the Mahindra Group. “Shri Keshub Mahindra had no match; the nicest person I had the privilege of knowing.”

“Keshubhji lived a glorious life guiding the growth of the Mahindra group for nearly five decades,” added Gautam Singhania, managing director of the Raymond Group. “With his endearing personality, he could navigate many challenging situations.”

Mahindra, who had a net worth of $1.2 billion making him the oldest Indian billionaire (according to Forbes), served as chairman of his multi-generational family firm (which was founded in 1945 in the Punjab province of India) until 2012, after which his nephew Anand Mahindra (the grandson of Jagdish Chandra Mahindra, one the four original founders) took over running of the business.

Having graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Mahindra was also part of several government committees, such as the Sachar Commission on Company Law & MRTP and the Central Advisory Council of Industries and served on boards and councils of Tata Steel, Indian Hotels, ICICI, Tata Chemicals, IFC and SAIL.

“Keshub Mahindra was an idol to entrepreneurs and leaders across sectors,” said Zee Entertainment Enterprises managing director and chief executive officer Puneet Goenka. “His vision and approach towards business inspired many including me, as he taught the essence of building a strong business and giving back to the society through his philanthropic efforts.” 

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