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Lehigh, Heidelberg's Merkle Commits Suicide

Last updated on Wednesday, January 7, 2009

(ULM, GERMANY) - The man whose family owns 80% of Lehigh parent Heidelberg Cement committed suicide Monday evening.

The Financial Times reports 74-year-old Adolf Merkle, one of Germany's 5 richest men, stepped in front of a train near his Southern Germany home and ended his life.

The Times says Merkle was distraught over money he lost in a short-sell deal for Volkswagen stocks, and the financial crisis has caused problems for his holding company, VEM, which is undergoing a restructuring.

Company officials at Heidelberg Cement in Germany have said the death of Merkle will not affect the company's operation nor turnaround plans.

Dan Blackwell, who handles public relations for the Lehigh Cement plant in Mitchell, told WBIW News he's unable to comment on whether events taking place in Germany will affect the company's expansion plans at the Mitchell plant.

Keep tuned to WBIW News and watching WBIW.com for more information as it becomes available.

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