Monday, March 8, 2021
Industrial and political
Billionaire Dassault dies in a helicopter crash
Olivier Dassault was a Member of Parliament for France’s conservative Republicans. But his influence as heir and member of the Dassault Group’s board of directors exceeded that. Now he died at the age of 69 when his helicopter crashed.
French industrialist and politician Olivier Dassault was killed in a helicopter crash. The helicopter carrying the 69-year-old man crashed near Deauville in northern France. The pilot was also killed. Dassault was the son of Serge Dassault, who headed the arms company of the same name. According to the air traffic control authority, the Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuil crashed in sunny weather and weak winds shortly after taking off from private ownership. Investigations began.
Olivier Dassault belongs to the Republican Party and sits on their behalf in the National Assembly. French President Emmanuel Macron praised him on Twitter, describing him as a man of many talents, and said: “His brutal death is a heavy loss.” Prime Minister Jean Castex hailed Dassault as “a humanitarian deputy” and a “visionary entrepreneur.” The 69-year-old leaves three children. He was a passionate photographer, pilot and composer.
Disagreement between the heirs over the management of the company
The Dassault family is among the most influential families in France. The group includes industries such as aviation, defense, auctions, wine and the media. Dassault Aviation Group is a leading French aircraft manufacturer for 70 years and is behind the Falcon private jet, the Mirage fighter jet and, most recently, the ultra-modern Rafale combat aircraft.
Dassault was the grandson of Manuel Bloch, an aviation visionary who was arrested in a concentration camp during the Nazi era for refusing to cooperate with the German aviation industry. Bloch later renamed himself Dassault and founded the Dassault Group. After the death of his father, Serge Dassault took over the company. When he died of heart failure in his Paris office in 2018, he had not appointed a successor.
Then there were arguments between Oliver and his three brothers. Olivier’s statement that he would be the most appropriate successor was rejected by his father while he was still alive. Most recently, he sat on the supervisory board. According to an estimate by Forbes business magazine, all of the siblings have assets of around five billion euros.
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