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Swiss-German industrialist dies

Markus Liebherr, scion of the Swiss-based German industrial dynasty Liebherr, has died unexpectedly at the age of 62.

His death was first announced by Southampton FC, the English football club of which he was owner. A statement said: "It is with deep regret and great sadness that the Club has to report that Markus Liebherr has passed away. His passing will come as an enormous shock to everyone."

Liebherr purchased Southampton FC in July 2009 for an undisclosed sum and was hailed a hero by the fans after lifting the club out of administration.

He was the third youngest son on Hans Liebherr, who founded Liebherr Group in 1949 after designing a new generation of construction cranes. Today, the family business has grown into a €7 billion company that employs over 32,000 people in more than 100 companies.

When his father died in 1993, Liebherr gave most of his shares in Liebherr-International AG, the holding company entirely owned by members of the Liebherr family, back to his brothers and sister.

This echoed the move made by his younger brother Hubert Liebherr, who gave his share in the family business back to his father in 1990.

Liebherr's move away from the family business began in 1994 when he started the MALI Group, which contains five technology businesses including one, Common Rail Technologies AG, which focuses on the research and design of common rail systems.

He leaves his siblings Willi and Isolde Liebherr in charge of Liebherr.

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