Karl Albrecht, a late German entrepreneur got hands in billion dollars fortune as the co-founder of the discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother Theo in 1946, then known as Albrecht KG.
Considered the then-richest man in Germany, Karl owned the net worth of $29 billion at the time of death in 2014. Until 2002, he was the chairman of the board of Aldi before relinquishing the control of the firm.
Rise As Billionaire: Founded ‘Aldi’ & Division
Having served in World War II, Karl later worked at delicatessen shop & then took over mother’s food store business that resulted in the foundation of Albrecht KG in 1946 alongside brother Theo.
But, after a dispute between the brothers, they split in 1962 & introduced the name Aldi- an abbreviation for Albrecht-Diskont, with separate groups: Aldi Süd, headquartered in Mülheim under Karl Albrecht while Theo had Aldi Nord, headquartered in Essen.
In 1966, the groups Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord were financially & legally separated.
As reported, Karl’s Ali Süd manages 32 regional companies with 1,600 stores in western and southern Germany. In addition to that, the company went international after acquiring the grocery chain Hofer in Austria in 1967 & then expanded throughout Ireland, Great Britain, Hungary, Switzerland, Australia, China, Italy, and Slovenia.
On the other hand, his brother Theo’s Ali Nord has 35 individual regional companies with about 2,500 stores in Germany and operated internationally in Denmark, France, the Benelux countries, Portugal, Spain, and Poland.
Turn Over Of The Company
With over 20,000 stores in 20 countries including 1,600 stores in the USA, the company Aldi indeed goes on with billion dollars turnovers.
The company founded in 1946 under the name Albrecht KG, before its division had a yearly cash flow of DM (Deutsche Mark) 90 million (DM was West Germany’s currency 1948 until 1990) by the early 1960s, through jointly owned 300 shops.
As reported, in 2010, the joint turnover of Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd, collectively Aldi was €53 billion ($58.73 billion on adjusted inflation in 2019).
Karl Albrecht’s Net Worth Over The Years Till Death
At the time of death in June 2014, Karl Albrecht, 94, owned the net worth of $29 billion, making him the richest person in Germany & the 4th richest in Europe.
As per Forbes, in March 2014, the German entrepreneur had a fortune of $25 billion, which ranked him #23 in the list of Billionaire 2014.
At the end of 2011, with a fortune of $25.5 billion, Karl was the oldest billionaire in the Top 20 list of Forbes Billionaires.
Who Oversees Karl’s Company ‘Aldi Süd’ Now?
In 1993, Karl along with brother Theo retired as the CEO of their respective companies. Until 2002, Albrecht served as the chairman of the board for Aldi Süd & later ceding control of the firm.
As for a fact, Karl’s son Karl Albrecht Jr. worked for his father’s company but later resigned.
Currently, the late German entrepreneur’s Aldi Süd is operated by the private family foundation Siepmann Foundation, run Karl Jr. and his sisters Beate Heister.
As per reports of December 2018, with his sister Heister, Karl Albrecht Jr. owned $25 billion.
Interesting Fact: Theo Albrecht, the CEO of ‘Aldi Nord’ & brother of Karl, died in 2010 at the age of 88 & had a fortune of $16.7 billion. His company ‘Aldi Nord’ is currently under the hands of the Markus Foundation.
Short-Bio: Family, Children & Death
Karl Hans Albrecht was born on February 20, 1920, to Karl Sr., a miner & later a baker’s assistant and mother Anna, who owned a grocery shop.
Raised as a Catholic in his hometown Essen, Germany, Karl used to work at delicatessen shop & also served in World War II where he was wounded on the Eastern Front.
Later, he began to invest in grocery shops followed by a successful chain-releases of the shops.
Was Father Of 2 Children
With his wife Maria Albrecht, Karl welcomed 2 children: Karl Albrecht Jr. (born in 1948) and Beate Heister (born on October 5, 1951).
Karl Albrecht died on July 16, 2014, at the age of 94. Reportedly, the billionaire figure lived a low-key life in Essen & owned a golf course, the Öschberghof.