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Richest Czech killed in Alaskan helicopter crash

Petr Kellner, the richest man in Czechia whose fortune is estimated at more than 11 billion euros, was killed in a helicopter crash in Alaska, his spokesperson told AFP on Monday. The 56-year-old businessman, who remained discreet about his private life, owned the PPF group, present in the financial services, telecommunications, real estate and biotechnology sectors around the world.

A fortune estimated at 11.2 billion euros

“We announce with deep regret that the founder and majority shareholder of the PPF group Peter Kellner tragically died in a helicopter crash in Alaska on Saturday,” group spokeswoman Jitka Tkadlecova said. She said an investigation was underway to determine the causes of the accident, in which a total of five people were killed. According to Czech media, Petr Kellner was heliskiing in Alaska.

Forbes magazine had valued Kellner’s fortune in 2020 at 11.2 billion euros. His group employs 94,000 people around the world. Petr Kellner, who started by selling photocopiers, founded the PPF group in 1991, two years after the end of the communist era in the former Czechoslovakia. PPF, with global assets estimated at 44 billion euros, includes Home Credit International, the largest non-bank consumer credit company and is a major player in the Chinese credit market.

Funerals in “close family circle”

It recently acquired the media group CME which operates television channels in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Telenor’s telecommunications assets in the Balkans. Peter Kellner’s daughter, Anna Kellnerova, is a two-time junior show jumping champion, and aims to compete in the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Kellner’s funeral will take place in a “close family circle,” his spokesperson said.

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