German billionaire Otto Beisheim committed suicide after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, Reuters News reported Monday. Beisheim was one of the founders of the retail corporation, Metro.
Beisheim was 89. A company spokesman said he had lost hope after being diagnosed with an incurable illness. He was found dead at his home in Bavaria on Monday morning.
Beisheim had pioneered retail concept of “cash and carry” warehouse-type stores that were set up for businesses to buy bulk supplies. The Metro Group is the world’s fourth-largest retailer.
The company has had financial problems lately as sales declined. The decline was blamed on financial fears in Europe.
Beisheim was a widower and had no children. His fortune will be divided between two foundations designed to foster cultural and business projects.
German media reports have said that the billionaire was a member of Hitler's Nazi Waffen-SS but his spokesman said only that he was a low-ranking member and switched to a different division in 1942.
Despite all his wealth, Beisheim appears to have a very sad end of life.
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