German retail magnate missing in Alps - reports

BERLIN (Reuters) - Tengelmann retail group chief Karl-Erivan Haub, whose family is among Germany’s wealthiest, has been missing since Saturday when he failed to return from an off-piste skiing tour in the Alps, German and Swiss media reported on Tuesday.

Spiegel magazine cited a Tengelmann spokeswoman as saying a search was underway for the 58-year-old, who has run the group which owns the OBI home improvement chain and KiK fashion discounter since 2000.

Tengelmann could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Handelsblatt daily cited a letter to Tengelmann employees from his brother Christian saying the family had not given up hope, noting that Karl-Erivan was a very experienced skier and mountaineer.

Switzerland’s Blick newspaper said the family had alerted Swiss authorities after Karl-Erivan had failed to return to his hotel in the resort of Zermatt after he set off from a lift on the Matterhorn mountain on Saturday morning.

Karl-Erivan is the fifth generation of the family to run the business that was founded in 1867 as an importer of coffee and tea and a trader in goods from the colonies.

Haub’s father, Erivan Haub, died last month on his ranch in Wyoming. Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $6.4 billion.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Richard Chang