Hunt for German billionaire missing in Alps

Hunt for German billionaire missing in Alps
File photo of the Matterhorn.

Authorities in Switzerland and Italy are searching for a German billionaire who has been missing in the Alps since the weekend, when he failed to return from a ski excursion on the Matterhorn.

Karl-Erivan Haub, heir to the Tengelmann retail empire, was training for a ski race when he disappeared on Switzerland's famous peak, on the border with Italy.

A spokeswoman for Tengelmann said there was no news yet on the fate of the 58-year-old. Sieglinde Schuchardt said Mr Haub was an experienced skier and mountaineer.

Swiss daily Blick reported that the Haub family raised the alarm after Haub did not show up at his hotel in Zermatt on Saturday afternoon.

The head of mountain rescue services in Italy's Aosta valley, Adriano Favre, was quoted by Blick as saying that bad weather and high avalanche risk on the Italian side forced a six-person team to interrupt their search on Tuesday.

Mr Favre said Mr Haub was skiing on his own and as the area where he disappeared includes glaciers, it is possible he might have fallen into a crevasse, Blick reported.

Swiss rescue service Air Zermatt said its search was continuing.

Mr Haub - who was born in Tacoma, Washington - and his brother Christian have led the company since 2000. The family's fortune is estimated at more than €3bn.

Tengelmann's main businesses are the hardware store Obi and clothing retailer KiK. It also has large stakes in the Netto supermarket chain and online retailer Zalando.

- Digital Desk and Press Association

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