Portugal’s richest man dies

Américo Amorim, Portugal’s richest man and former president of Galp oil company, has died

Only yesterday, national media was reporting that Amorim had “slapped a €200 million lawsuit on the State, Bank of Portugal and Novo Banco (click here), but clearly the move was instigated by third parties, as the octogenarian had been very ill for some time.

Público writes that Amorim had six heart operations in the last few years, and that his death earlier today did not come as a surprise to his family.

Said to have had a net worth of over four billion euros, Amorim passed leadership of the Amorim group of companies to his daughter Paula last year, along with his presidency of Galp.

He was just a few days short of his 83rd birthday.

Obituaries on the self-made man who started out in the cork industry credit him for “constructing one of the greatest industrial empires of the country”.

He is described as having had a modest childhood before starting work with the family business where he focused on ‘internationalisation’ and exports.

By the time of the Revolution he was already a rich man, and then started to ‘diversify’.

In 1981, he was involved in the creation of SPI, the Portuguese Society of Investments, which became BPI before morphing into BCP (Millennium).

The Amorim family controls Galp through Amorim Energy based in the Netherlands. The company is detained by Power Oil & Gas Investments (35%), Amorim Investimentos Energéticos (20%) and societies of Américo Amorim, wrote Público last year – adding that the remaining 45% is held by Esperanza Holding, of Angolan State oil company Sonangol.

Questioned back in 2011 by Jornal de Negócios on whether he would accept a special tax for large fortunes, Amorim is quoted as saying: “I do not consider myself to be rich. I am a worker”.

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