The co-founder of the largest German retail group, Metro AG, has committed suicide. The German billionaire suicide happened shortly after Otto Beisheim, 89, learned that he was suffering from a terminal illness, Yahoo! reported on Feb. 18. German sources also report that he "divorced because of the hopelessness of his health situation," the Otto Beisheim Group said on Monday. He was found dead of an apparent suicide in his home.
With the introduction of the supermarket principle, cash & carry, and wholesale trade, Beisheim become one of the richest men in Europe. Beisheim opened the first Metro Market in November 1963 in Essen-Altenessen. Six years later, his group had reached the billion sales mark.
As a longtime managing partner of Metro SB wholesale markets and later as Chairman of Metro Holding in the Swiss canton train, Beisheim contributed significantly to the expansion of the group. Following the acquisition of department stores Kaufhof and Horten, Beisheim held at least 10 percent of Metro AG shares.
Beisheim's wife died in 1999, the couple had no children. Beisheim had distinguished himself as a patron.