One of Germany's richest men is missing in the Swiss Alps

  • German billionaire Karl-Erivan Haub missing during ski trip in the Swiss Alps.
  • Haub, the owner and CEO of retail group Tengelmann has been missing since April 7.
  • He was described by his brother Christian as “a very experienced alpinist and skier,” in a letter sent to staff of Tengelmann.

LONDON – Karl-Erivan Haub, a billionaire and one of Germany’s richest men, has been reported missing after failing to return from a skiing expedition in the Alps, according to media reports in Germany.

Haub, who is the owner and CEO of retail group Tengelmann, last week embarked on an off-piste skiing expedition in the resort of Zermatt near the Swiss-Italian border.

He failed to return to his hotel, and has been considered missing since April 7, according to the Swiss media outlet Blick.

According to Spiegel magazine, a search is underway for the 58-year-old, with Deutsche Welle adding that a spokesperson for Tengelmann said the search was proceeding at “full speed.” The search has been disrupted by poor visibility and the threat of avalanches, Deutsche Welle said.

MatterhornFlickr / nils.rohwerThe Matterhorn.

Haub was reportedly in Zermatt to train for the Patrouille des Glaciers ski race, an international long distance ski event organised by the Swiss army, scheduled to take place next week.

Haub was described by his brother Christian as “a very experienced alpinist and skier,” in a letter sent to staff, and partially published in the newspaper Handelsblatt

“Of course our family is prepared for such a situation,” Christian Haub said, adding that “the business will continue to run smoothly and orderly.”

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires index, the net worth of Erivan Karl Haub – the missing Haub’s father, who died last month – was in excess of $US6 billion (£4.2 billion; €4.9 billion).

That wealth stemmed from Tengelmann, which owns German retailers including hardware chain Obi and textile discounter Kik. The company has stakes in as many as 73 different businesses.

The Matterhorn mountain, which sits above the resort of Zermatt, is a popular mountain for off-piste skiers and Alpinists.

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