Business, Economics and Jobs

Germany: Berthold Albrecht, billionaire heir of Aldi, Trader Joe's, dies aged 58


Shoppers line up inside Trader Joe's for the grand opening on 14th Street in New York City on March 17, 2006. Trader Joe's, a specialty retail grocery store, has more than 200 stores in 19 states.


Michael Nagle

Berthold Albrecht, whose inheritance of half of the Trader Joe’s and Aldi Nord supermarkets put him among the world’s 100 wealthiest people, has died. He was 58.

Albrecht, whose father father Theo Albrecht Sr., — Germany’s third-richest man — only died two years ago, was buried last month in a private ceremony, according to a full-page death notice from his wife Babette published in Handelsblatt newspaper Friday, cited by Bloomberg.

The notice made no mention of the place or cause of his death.

"Berthold Albrecht was a very loving and extremely generous human being, an exemplary husband and father...[He was a] fighter, never losing hope right to the end."

Together with his brother Theo Jr, Albrecht's fortune was estimated at $17.9 billion, according to Forbes

That placed them at 32 in the list of Forbes billionaires and second for Germany.

But it was their father who with brother Karl turned Aldi into a global retailer, using a low-cost business model that revolutionized the German market, Bloomberg wrote.

Berthold Albrecht, who had a personal fortune of $10.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was the chairman of a family foundation that owns Aldi Nord.

Despite that, Bloomberg cited Sebastian Frericks — analyst at Frankfurt-based Bankhaus Metzler — as saying:

"This isn’t going to change a lot at Aldi Nord. His brother Theo was closer to managing the business. Berthold had been sick for a while."

Berthold Albrecht had five children, including quadruplets born in 1990. 

Aside from his sons, Theo Sr. is survived by Karl, who at 92 is the world’s 21st richest person, worth $22.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.