Heart attack suspected in chocolate boss’s death

2011-04-19 12:53

Italian chocolate tycoon Pietro Ferrero is suspected to have died of a heart attack while cycling in South Africa but a post-mortem will establish the cause of death, police said on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old joint chief executive of the group that owns Nutella and Ferrero Rocher was cycling along a scenic Atlantic Ocean coastal road in Cape Town on Monday when he fell off his bike and died.

“It is suspected that he could have suffered a heart attack but a post mortem will still have to be done on him to determine the cause of death,” said police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk.

A passer-by stopped to assist Ferrero before an ambulance arrived “but he was declared dead on the scene”, said Van Wyk.

Ferrero had co-run the sweets company with his younger brother Giovanni since 1997.

Their 85-year-old father, Michele, who turned the firm into a global leader of the confectionery industry after taking over in 1957, is still the chairman.

Ferrero, 85, is Italy’s richest man according to the latest ranking by Forbes magazine.

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