Brazil retail billionaire Abilio Diniz dies at 87

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BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz, who built an empire in the supermarket retail sector, died on Sunday in Sao Paulo, according to his press office.


The 87-year-old had been hospitalized at the Albert Einstein Hospital and suffered respiratory failure due to pneumonitis, his press office said in a statement.

Diniz played a pivotal role in the history of Brazilian retail, serving most recently as vice-chairman of Carrefour Brasil and as a board member of the French group Carrefour.

In the late 1950s, he co-founded Pao de Acucar, which grew into the country’s largest supermarket chain. After a series of mergers and acquisitions, its control passed into the hands of France’s Casino in 2012.


Diniz remained with the company he founded until 2013, when he took over as chairman of Brazilian food processor BRF, where he served for five years.

In 2014, Diniz acquired a stake in Carrefour Brasil through his private investment company Peninsula.

Last year, Forbes estimated his net worth at $2.4 billion.
(Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Chris Reese)

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