The Czech Republic’s richest man, billionaire investor Petr Kellner, was one among 5 individuals killed in a helicopter crash in Alaska, officers have confirmed.
The 56-year-old founding father of funding group PPF was amongst 4 passengers on a heli-ski tour who died alongside their pilot Saturday close to Knik Glacier northeast of Anchorage, Alaska State Troopers mentioned.
“An unbelievable tragedy,” mentioned Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who supplied “honest condolences” to Kellner’s spouse, Renata, and his 4 kids.
“I’m terribly sorry about it,” Babis mentioned.
Kellner, who had been married twice, prevented public consideration however was identified to be a eager skier. An image of him snowboarding was revealed in one PPF annual report.
Kellner made his begin promoting copy machines following the 1989 Velvet Revolution — and by his loss of life was value $17.four billion, based on Forbes.
He owned a 98.93% stake in the PPF Group, which expressed “deepest grief” on the loss of life of its founder.
He was additionally a former co-owner of Czech soccer membership Slavia Prague, which shared “nice unhappiness” and supplied “its deepest and most honest condolences to the household and associates of Mr. Kellner.”
Kellner had additionally financed a thinktank arrange by former President Vaclav Klaus, architect of the 1990s privatization that allowed Kellner’s enterprise rise.
“His life story was an instance of harnessed alternative supplied to younger individuals by the financial transformation,” Klaus mentioned. “He unfolded his preliminary success from privatization to an extent reaching far past our nation’s borders.”
Kellner died alongside one other Czech Republic vacationer, Benjamin Larochaix, 50, authorities.
They died alongside two guides — Gregory Harms, 52, of Colorado, and Sean McMannany, 38, of Girdwood, Alaska — in addition to their 33-year-old native pilot, Zachary Russel, authorities mentioned.
A 3rd, unidentified visitor was additionally injured in the crash, which remains to be being investigated.
Kellner’s funeral might be non-public for his household, his firm mentioned.
With Submit wires