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Friedrich Flick; was Austrian billionaire; at 79

VIENNA -- Billionaire industrialist Friedrich Karl Flick, whose father was convicted at Nuremburg of using slave labor in Nazi Germany, has died at the age of 79, according to news reports Friday.

He died late Thursday at his home on Lake Woerther in Carinthia, the Austria Press Agency reported, citing his investment manager, Joerg-Andreas Lohr.

An Austrian magazine recently named Mr. Flick the richest man in Austria, with a fortune of $8.6 billion, APA reported.

His father, also named Friedrich, was convicted by the Allied War Crimes Tribunal in 1947 of using 40,000 slaves in his industrial empire, which extended from armaments to motor vehicles. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Friedrich Karl Flick joined his father's business in 1957 and at first oversaw its automotive, paper, and chemical sectors. In 1975, three years after the death of his father, he took over as head of the industrial empire that held stakes in companies such as Daimler-Benz, Feldmuehle, and Dynamit Nobel AG.

In 1981, he became embroiled in a major postwar political party financing scandal when it surfaced that some of his managers had given millions of German marks to German political parties.

Mr. Flick denied any knowledge of such donations. The scandal became known as the ``Flick affair" and sparked years of debate about party financing. His name became synonymous with the meddling of business in politics.

In a surprise move, Mr. Flick sold the company to Deutsche Bank in 1985.

In 1994, Mr. Flick announced he was moving his permanent residence and the management of his assets to Austria, the home of his third wife, Ingrid Ragger.

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