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Brazil construction magnate Norberto Odebrecht dies at 93

22 july 2014, 09:52
Norberto Odebrecht. Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org
Norberto Odebrecht. Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org

Norberto Odebrecht, founder of the Brazilian construction company behind large-scale infrastructure projects including several World Cup stadiums, was buried Sunday after dying of heart failure, AFP reports. He was 93.

The engineer and businessman was laid to rest in the northern city of Salvador after passing away Saturday night.

His firm, Odebrecht, which he founded in 1944, was behind numerous major projects including dams and highways in the Amazon jungle.

Born in Recife on Brazil's northeastern coastline, Odebrecht moved with his parents to Salvador as a child before starting his company there, which blossomed into a giant conglomerate.

The firm today employs some 170,000 people with projects under way in 23 countries.

The firm joined consortia which won contracts for four World Cup stadiums -- including renovation of the fabled Maracana and the new Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo.

Forbes Brazil recently estimated Odebrecht was the ninth-richest man in the country.

His grandson Marcelo Odebrecht took over as CEO at the end of 2008.

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