Dieter Bock

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Died in 2010.

"No one misjudged Bock's abilities and ambitions more than the Lonrho tycoon, Tiny Rowland. He invited Bock in as a saviour. But the corporate son became his nemesis, forcing Rowland out of the Africa-wide company he had dominated for three decades. Lonrho needed cash, and Rowland, at the age of 75, a lucrative exit strategy. Working, as usual, with other people's money – a German bank loan – Bock became the conglomerate's biggest shareholder in December 1992, paying Rowland £50m for the privilege, and joining the board in February 1993.

"But within months, the "indivisible" joint chief executives were at war. Bock, tearing up the Rowland script, forced through the prized asset sales – including the Observer to the Guardian Media Group in 1993. In March 1995 Rowland was sacked by his handpicked board, which was now backing Bock. Bock sold out to the mining firm Anglo American Corporation for a £123m profit in October 1996, leaving Lonrho in March 1997...

"Bock rode the property boom, expanding into the Netherlands, the US and South Africa. He became a significant investor in the leading construction group Philipp Holzmann and the largest shareholder in the Kempinski hotel chain...

"Despite, according to a former business partner, having no interest in football, he acquired a soccer team in Soweto, South Africa, the Moroka Swallows, in 2001. But Bock was no hero to the fans, who welcomed his decision to sell last March..." [1]


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  1. theguardian Obit, organizational web page, accessed May 1, 2014.