Petr Kellner, 56, the richest man in Czech Republic was killed in a helicopter crash on a skiing trip in Alaska. He was the founder of investment group PPF. Kellner was one among the five killed in the crash near Knik Glacier, northeast of Anchorage, Alaska. Only one person survived the crash and was admitted in hospital.
Kellner was one who avoided public attention. He had an estimated wealth of about $17.5 billion according to Forbes. He was the 68th richest person in the world according to the Forbes 2020 list and was tied with media giant Rupert Murdoch.
Kellner is survived by his wife Renata and four children. He started his career by selling copy machines as the country opened up after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. He then set up PPF with partners for the country’s privatisation programme.
PPF controls telecom firms in Central and Eastern Europe. It’s biggest firm is consumer lender Home Credit that is active in markets of Russia, China and India.
Kellner also financed a thinktank set up by former President Vaclav Klaus, architect of the 1990’s privatisation that allowed Kellner’s business to rise.
He recently acquired a stake in MONETA Money Bank. Last year, PPF completed the acquisition of Central European Media Enterprises, a group of television stations from Time Warner.