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Matriarch of Brazilian Steel Family Steinbruch Dies at 85

Former billionaire Dorothéa Steinbruch, whose family control steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional and lender Banco Fibra SA, died at the weekend aged 85.

  shamoa-BRAZIL- Dorothea Steinbruch

 

Steinbruch was the widow of Mendel Steinbruch, one of the founders of Brazilian textile business Vicunha Group, whose current chief executive officer is their son Ricardo. Their second son Benjamin is CEO of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional.

The matriarch made most of her wealth from her stake in Brazil’s largest steelmakers, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN). The Steinbruch and Rabinovitch families, through their Vicunha Textile, paid a reported $800 million in 1993 for control of CSN, a formerly state-owned steel company. In 2005 Steinbruch bought out the Rabinovitch stake for a reported $590 million. Her brother-in-law, Eliezer Steinbruch, who shared control of CSN, died in mid-2008.

CSN made an unsuccessful bid for Cimpor, Portugal’s largest cement manufacturer, earlier this year.

However, the miner has seen its market value plummet by $40 billion since 2008 and is currently worth $1.4 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Banco Fibra alike has fallen upon hard times and has seen five straight annual losses, but the family are unlikely to walk away as shareholders and management can be help responsible for debt of a failed bank under Brazilian law.

The devastating financial loss has resulted in Dorothéa Steinbruch and family being removed from the Forbes Billionaire list in 2014. She was previously ranked as the 205th richest person in the world in 2009.

Steinbruch leaves behind her sons, Benjamin and Ricardo, as well as a daughter, Elisabeth, who is on the board at Banco Fibra.

The second generation family business had revenues of R$1, 170 million in 2011.

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