Reclusive Aldi co-founder dead: report

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Theo Albrecht, the joint founder of budget supermarket giant Aldi last seen in public after his release from kidnap nearly 40 years ago, has died aged 88, news magazine Spiegel said Wednesday.

The publicity-shy entrepreneur died on Saturday in the western German city of Essen, Spiegel said, after a long illness.

According to Manager Magazin's annual rich list, the Albrecht brothers, Karl and Theo, who co-founded Aldi were the two wealthiest people in Germany, with fortunes of 17.35 billion euros (22.60 billion dollars) and 16.75 billion euros respectively.

Very little is known about the two reclusive billionaires, with Theo's last public appearance dating from 1971, shortly after his release after 17 days by kidnappers who were reportedly paid a three million dollar ransom.

Contacted by AFP, Aldi refused to confirm the report.

© 2010 AFP

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