French billionaire Serge Dassault has died of a heart attack in his office at the age of 93.
The conservative politician and industrialist passed away from a “cardiac deficiency” in Paris at around 4pm on Monday, according to a statement from his family.
He had led the Dassault Group since his father Marcel’s death in 1986 and his wealth hadbeen estimated at around 20bn.
The group owns Le Figaro newspaper and builds the Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft used by the French Air Force.
It also has subsidiaries involved in electric vehicles, aerospace equipment, software systems, wine and auctions.
France has lost a man who dedicated his life to developing a jewel of French industry, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said in a statement.
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy responded to the news by tweeting: “With the death of Serge Dassault, France loses a very big industrialist, the world of aviation, a pioneer, the public opinion a big boss of the press and me, more simply, a friend.”
Mr Dassault was a member of the Union for a Popular Movement party, a former senator and a former mayor of the commune of Corbeil-Essones near Paris.
Last year he was fined two millioneuros (1.7m) for money laundering and failing to fully disclose his wealth to the authorities.
He leaves behind his wife Nicole Raffel and their four children.