Theo Albrecht Net Worth & Biography
|Popular Name:||Theo Albrecht|
|Real Name:||Theodor Paul Albrecht|
|Birth Date:||28 March 1922|
|Birth Place:||Essen, Rhine Province, Prussia, Weimar Republic|
|Age:||Died on 24 July 2010 (aged 88)|
|Net Worth:||$19.6 Billion|
Theo Albrecht was a billionaire businessman and entrepreneur from Germany, who along with his brother Karl Albrecht, established the popular discount supermarket chain Aldi.
In 2010, due to his accomplished success, Forbes Magazine ranked Theo as the 31st richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of more than $19 billion. He earned his fortune thanks to the success of the German supermarket chain Aldi Nord which he owned and led as its chief executive officer. In the United States, Theo also owned the specialty grocery store chain called Trader Joe. Now the two private chains, which were originally a single-family enterprise, boast of more than 5,000 stores combined in nine European countries and the United States. Ever since the friendly split of assets in 1960, Aldi and Trader Joe have separate ownership and maintain distinct operations; Theo claiming the northern German stores and other parts of Europe and his brother Karl taking the stores in southern Germany and the privileges to open stores in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. Karl still owns the Aldi Süd supermarket chain, which controls the Aldi groceries in the United States. While all of his property is now managed by his son Theo Albrecht Jr. and the grandchildren of his departed son, Berthold. This brave businessman became a victim to kidnappers in the year 1971 and was held captive for 17 days until Seven million German marks (roughly $2 million at the time) was paid to his abductors for his release. Apart from this unfortunate event, very little is known about the personal life of Theo Albrecht and his brother, as they both lived reclusively and away from outsiders. More details follow below.
Early Life: Childhood, Education
He was born Theodor Paul Albrecht on 28 March 1922 in Essen, Rhine Province, Germany. Various sources maintain that he experienced his childhood in his home country in the company of his brother, Karl. He was raised in a Catholic household. Apart from that, nothing is known regarding his family, other siblings, and education.
Professional Life: Business career
It has been revealed by close family members that Theo, in order to escape the fate of his father in the mines, was pushed to learn the grocery business from his mother.
When they became of age, he and his brother started Albrecht Diskont, now known by its acronym, Aldi, one of the largest chains of supermarkets in Europe, with the motto “best quality at the lowest price”. As of this writing, Forbes magazine estimates the businessman’s fortune from the successful supermarket chain as approximately £11 billion.
Theo and Karl Albrecht divided the Aldi Company they established in 1960 after an argument about whether to sell cigarettes. The supermarket is divided into two dissimilar, legally separate operating units with two different geographical locations. Theo’s Aldi Nord set to operate in the north part of Germany, while Karl’s Aldi Süd was based in Germany’s south.
He retired from daily operations in the year 1993 but remained as chairman of the board for the remaining part of his life.
Personal Life: Family, Wife, Children, Abduction
In 1971, Theo Albrecht was kidnapped for 17 days. After approximately $2 million was deposited for his release, he regained his freedom. According to the reports, he was held at gunpoint by a lawyer named Heinz-Joachim Ollenburg, and his accomplice Paul Kron. The ransom sum was delivered by the then bishop of Essen, Franz Hengsbach. Later on, his kidnappers were caught by authorities, but only half of the ransom money was recovered.
His kidnapping incident can be pointed to as the major reason why Theo and his family decided to exist like hermits. The incident also caused him to drive to work in an armored vehicle, using a different route every day. Little is known about his personal life and that of his family members who are known to be very reclusive. Theo himself was rarely pictured by photographers and was never seen making a public statement. The last published photo of the businessman dates from 1971, a day after his kidnapping. Another photo of Theo and his brother, Karl, together was taken by journalist Franz Ruch in 1987.
It was once reported that Theo and his brother owned an island located in the North Sea. They indulged their hobbies such as pastimes like collecting antique typewriters and golf, on this Island.
He died 24 July 2010, in his hometown of Essen, in Germany. He was 88 years old at the time.
Theo Albrecht Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets
Mr. Theo Albrecht had a net worth of $19.6 billion at the time of his death in 2010. He made his wealth from the Aldi supermarket chain which he established with his brother, Karl Albrecht.
His assets include several bulletproof vehicles and an alleged Island located in the Northern Sea which he owned with his elder brother.