The assets of the co-founder of the Aldi supermarket, Theo Albrecht, are to be discussed in a German court after grandson Nicolay Albrecht accused his mother Babette Albrecht and three sisters of taking money from family trust, according to media reports.
The German Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday that Nicolay Albrecht, a grandson of co-founder Theo Albrecht, accused his mother and sisters of embezzling funds and withdrawing millions from a family business that holds the family fortune. The Guardian and the London Times also reported the news.
The complaint was reportedly filed in August by Nicolay, alleging a breach of trust in one of the family̵
Of Babette’s five children, one son and three daughters were born quadruplets and are now 30 years old, while one younger daughter is 28 years old, according to media reports. Son Nicolay claims his mother and sisters used their superior numbers in the boardroom to pay off millions from family trust.
The conflict, which has gone through many chapters, places the cost-conscious elders who built Aldi against the younger generation who inherited the wealth.
In May 2016, an interview in German magazine Stern shocked the country when Theo Albrecht Jr. accused Babette, his brother’s wife and children, of “looking after the fortune,” the Times reported, although the original interview was not online has been made available.
“I am very sad that Babette and her children do not want to accept the will and the founding statute of her husband and are fighting against it,” he said. Stern said $ 88 million was withdrawn from the foundation in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Times reported.
A lawyer from the Albrecht family did not respond to a comment. In 2019, the family issued a statement to the Guardian denying any wrongdoing.
The controversy surrounding family trusts and the various attempts to ditch the tightly-knit purses around them took off in 2018 when the family matriarch Cäcilie Albrecht, the wife of Theo Sr., died. Years of hostility boiled in her will when Cäcilie accused the heirs (when the details of her last will and testament were published in an Essen court in February 2019) of living a lavish lifestyle instead of living in harmony with Aldi and Albrecht’s famous economical ways. Cäcilie reportedly forbade Berthold’s descendants and their daughter-in-law Babette from assuming any future roles in the company.
In her will, reported by the Guardian in April 2019, she wrote: “With this document, I undertake to uphold the philosophy of our family, which is to serve the Aldi Nord consortium while promoting self-interest and a modest and celibate one Practice the way of life. “
When the will was read, Babette and the family denied any wrongdoing. In 2019, Andreas Urban, the lawyer who represents Babette and her children, told the Guardian: “Piety and decency stipulate that this will should not be publicly assessed.” . for the well-being of Aldi Nord. “
Forbes has asked Aldi Nord in Germany for a comment.
Aldi family fortune
Today Aldi is known as a popular budget supermarket with over 10,000 stores in 20 countries. In the US, Trader Joe’s has a reputation for being cheap. The family behind Aldi and Trader Joe’s, the Albrechts, is known as one of the richest families in Europe.
The Aldi branches in Germany achieved worldwide sales of over 30 billion US dollars in 2018, while Great Britain has developed into another massive market for Aldi with sales of 12 billion US dollars.
The family fortune was built up by Theo and his older brother Karl after their release from a POW camp after they had been forced to fight under General Erwin Rommel in North Africa before they were captured by Italian troops in 1945. This comes from Theo’s obituary in the Guardian in 2010.
While her father worked in a coal mine, her mother ran a small grocery store where the brothers worked after school in the years before the war.
After the war, the brothers returned to their homeland in Essen in West Germany and found their little shop undamaged. And so began the rise and rise of the Albrecht dynasty, in which Aldi stores sold groceries straight out of the box, stacked with no marketing and at low prices compared to competing stores selling fresh produce. The term Aldi is an abbreviation for the family names “Albrecht” and “Discount”, and the ethos has been preserved in his stores to this day.
In June 2019, Aldi opened two stores in China, and the Financial Times reported from Shanghai that hundreds of people were lining up to gain entry. Zhou Youhua, a retired doctor, told the FT, like many Aldi shoppers around the world, “We came here for the German products and the cheap beer.”