December 28, 2017 / 8:06 AM / 24 days ago

Media Markt founder and Ceconomy shareholder Kellerhals dies

FRANKFURT, Dec 28 (Reuters) - German billionaire Erich Kellerhals, co-founder of electronics retail giant Media Markt, has died at the age of 78, a spokesman for his holding company Convergenta confirmed on Thursday.

Kellerhals founded Media Markt with two business partners in 1979. Media-Saturn now has more than 1,000 stores in 15 European countries and is majority-owned by consumer electronics group Ceconomy, which split from Metro this year.

Kellerhals, who last held a stake of just over 21 percent in Media-Saturn, has for years been at odds with Ceconomy over the management of the business, most notably its move into the fast-growing online market as well as the split from Metro.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported this month that representatives of Kellerhals’s holding company Convergenta had refused to approve Media-Saturn’s annual accounts.

Kellerhals was worth about $2 billion, according to Forbes.

Kellerhals died on Dec. 25 surrounded by family, the Convergenta spokesman said.

He leaves behind his wife and business partner of over 50 years, Helga, and a son. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan in Frankfurt and Anneli Palmen in Duesseldorf; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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