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Billionaire has debts of €65 million

The Local Austria
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Billionaire has debts of €65 million
Lugner and his wife Cathy with photos of Elisabetta Canalis. Photo: APA/NEUBAUER

Austrian entrepreneur and society figure Richard Lugner, who made billions from the construction industry, has admitted to being €65 million in debt, and says he is struggling to find an heir to take over his business.

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The 82-year-old married 25-year-old German Playboy model Cathy Schmitz last year, and has been married four times before.

In an interview with Ö3 radio he said that he had hoped to leave his business empire, which includes a successful shopping centre, to his youngest child Jacqueline, but that she is no longer interested and doesn’t get along with Cathy.

He said that Cathy is now playing an important role in his business and takes care of his finances. He added that she could take over the business in the future, as could his son Alexander.

Asked about speculation that Cathy only married him for his money Lugner reacted pragmatically. “I have a young wife and she has a rich husband - and if we’re both happy then that’s OK with me.”

He said that he still works 70 hour weeks but believes he still has plenty of healthy years left.

Every year he invites a celebrity guest to attend the Vienna Opera Ball, this year's guest is Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis. 

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