Nutella Owner Michele Ferrero Dies at 89

February 14, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

Michele Ferrero, the owner of the Nutella empire, has died, according to reports on Saturday.

He was 89 years old.

According to Reuters:

His death is likely to spur talk of succession and potential tie-ups at the family-controlled Ferrero group, which has continued to grow even through Italy’s longest recession since World War Two.

The group, which makes chocolate-hazelnut Nutella spread, Ferrero Rocher pralines and chocolate Kinder eggs, is seen by analysts and bankers as Italy’s most valuable privately owned company.

The billionaire died at his home in Monte Carlo after a long illness, one of the workers within the company said.

 His death was first reported in Italian media outlets.

It is unclear when his funeral will take place.

He died in the city of Monte Carlo, reported Il Messaggero.