Adolf Merkle, the owner of Heidelberg Cement – parent company of Hanson and Castle Cement – died last Monday evening after apparently throwing himself under a train.
Merkle, reportedly the fifth richest man in Germany, had lost millions due to the financial crisis and betting the wrong way on the direction of Volkswagen’s share price.
A statement from Heidelberg Cement says: “It is with great shock that we have learned about the death of Dr. Adolf Merckle. As a shareholder and member of the Supervisory Board he had very close ties with our company for many decades. Dr. Merckle actively accompanied and marked the dynamic development of HeidelbergCement from a medium sized southern German cement company to one on of the world’s largest building materials producers.”
Merkle was the majority shareholder in Heidelberg Cement and it is unclear so far what the financial implications of his death will be.