FRANKFURT, Dec 28 (Reuters) - German billionaire Erich Kellerhals, co-founder of electronics retail giant Media Markt, has died at the age of 78, a spokesman for his holding company Convergenta confirmed on Thursday.
Kellerhals founded Media Markt with two business partners in 1979. Media-Saturn now has more than 1,000 stores in 15 European countries and is majority-owned by consumer electronics group Ceconomy, which split from Metro this year.
Kellerhals, who last held a stake of just over 21 percent in Media-Saturn, has for years been at odds with Ceconomy over the management of the business, most notably its move into the fast-growing online market as well as the split from Metro.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported this month that representatives of Kellerhals’s holding company Convergenta had refused to approve Media-Saturn’s annual accounts.
Kellerhals was worth about $2 billion, according to Forbes.
Kellerhals died on Dec. 25 surrounded by family, the Convergenta spokesman said.
He leaves behind his wife and business partner of over 50 years, Helga, and a son. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan in Frankfurt and Anneli Palmen in Duesseldorf; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)