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Petr Kellner

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Petr Kellner
Born(1964-05-20)20 May 1964
Česká Lípa, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)
Died27 March 2021(2021-03-27) (aged 56)
near Knik Glacier, Alaska, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Economics, Prague
Occupation(s)Founder and majority shareholder, PPF Group
Spouse(s)Iva Kellnerová (divorced)
Renáta Kellnerová
Children4, including Anna Kellnerová

Petr Kellner (20 May 1964 – 27 March 2021) was a Czech billionaire entrepreneur, the founder and majority shareholder (98.93%) of the PPF Group. At the time of his death, he had an estimated net worth of $17.5 billion, making him the wealthiest person in the Czech Republic.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kellner was born in 1964 in Česká Lípa, then in Czechoslovakia, but spent most of his childhood in Liberec.[2][3] Kellner graduated from the University of Economics, Prague Faculty of Industrial Economics, in 1986.[4]


In the late 1980s, he worked as a production assistant in Barrandov Studios, even having a cameo in the 1989 film Time of the Servants [cs].[5][6]

After the Velvet Revolution he worked for the Czech company Impromat, an importer and seller of Ricoh photocopiers. While working for that company, he met Milan Maděryč and Milan Vinkler.[7]

Investment fund PPF[edit]

In 1991, after the announcement of Czechoslovak voucher privatization, he founded the investment fund PPF (První Privatizační Fond: First Privatization Fund)[8][better source needed] with Milan Vinkler and state-owned glassworks Sklo Union.[9] In 1992, PPF investiční společnost a.s. was established and the funds' names were changed from privatization to investment.[citation needed] The funds were very successful and purchased stock of more than 200 corporations with nominal value 5 billion CZK.[7]

Česká pojišťovna[edit]

In 1995 and 1996, PPF bought a 20% stake in the largest Czech insurance company, Česká pojišťovna and started to manage it. In 2000, PPF bought 31.5% stake of Česká pojišťovna from IPB for 2.85 billion CZK (around $72.27 million at the time).[9][10][11] The transaction with IPB ended up with IPB paying to PPF 1.6 billion CZK (around $40.93 million at the time) penalty, making the real purchasing cost of the stake 1.25 billion CZK (around $31.98 million at the time).[12] Later PPF acquired more shares and became the dominant (93%) owner in 2001, when PPF bought large stakes of shares from Komerční banka and the Czech state.[13] With help of these profitable transactions, the last investors from voucher privatization were bought out and Kellner became the dominant owner of PPF Group.[7]

Assicurazioni Generali[edit]

In 2007, PPF Group signed a contract with Assicurazioni Generali to create a joint venture between PPF Group's insurance arm and Assicurazioni Generali's corporations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. According to sources PPF Group will own 49% of that company from the start, and Generali will pay 1.1 billion (around $1.29 billion at the time) to the PPF Group for its stake. From 2007 till 2013 Kellner was member of the board of directors of Generali.[14] Kellner himself later bought 2.02% stake in Assicurazioni Generali.[15]

In 2013 Kellner's PPF sold their remaining shares in the Generali PPF Holding (GPH) to Generali for 2.5 billion (around $3.32 billion at the time), who became sole owner effective in early 2015.[16][17]

Central European Media Enterprises[edit]

In early September 2007, Ronald Lauder announced that Kellner held a 3% stake and was on the board of directors of Central European Media Enterprises.[18] In 2019 PPF Group acquired whole CME.

Hotel Praha[edit]

In 2013, Kellner purchased the Hotel Praha, a luxury hotel in the Dejvice section of Prague that had been built under Communist rule. Kellner demolished the hotel in 2014 and sought to turn the land into a campus of Open Gate, an elite private school he had founded.[19] The school was never built.

Relations with politicians[edit]

PPF Group has often operated in state-regulated business (insurance, banking, telecommunications), so intermingling with the politics was inherent. Three politicians are clearly linked to Kellner.[5] The first is Václav Klaus, firstly the Czechoslovak Minister of Finance during times of voucher privatization, later Prime Minister and Czech president. After he retired from active politics in 2013, his Václav Klaus' Institute was funded by PPF banka from PPF Group.[5][20] The second is Ivan Kočárník [cs], who served as Czech Minister of Finance from 1992 to 1997, during the privatization of Česká pojišt'ovna into the hands of PPF Group.[5][20] After he retired from active politics in 1997 he was a member of the board of directors from 1997 to 2000 of Česká pojišt'ovna and a member of its supervisory board from 2000 to 2007.[21] The third is Kellner's top lobbyist Vladimír Mlynář [cs],[5] the first Czech Minister of Informatics, who works for PPF Group since 2010.[22]


As of 2013, Kellner owned 98.93% of the PPF investment and financial group.[23]

In 2006, he was first time listed[24] in Forbes list of billionaires with estimated net worth at US$3 billion and as 224th wealthiest man in the world.[25][26] In 2007, he was 119th with US$6 billion; in 2008 he was 91st with US$9.3 billion.[27][28] In 2009, he was 76th with US$6 billion.[29] In 2010 he was 89th with US$7.6 billion;[30][31][32] according to the Czech weekly Týden, the estimates were lower, however, approx. US$4 billion.[31]

In 2015, Kellner ranked #137 on the Forbes list with an estimated wealth of US$9.2 billion (2015).[33] In August 2016, he ranked #102 with US$11.4 billion, making him the wealthiest person in the Czech Republic.[34] In 2018, Kellner ranked #88, with US$15.5 billion.[35] In 2020 he ranked #68 with US$14.9 billion.[36] In October 2020, Czech Forbes listed him as the richest person in the Czech Republic with net worth 293 billion CZK (around US$13 billion at the time).[37]

In 2010 he bought a Boeing 737-700 BBJ1 as his business airplane.[38] It was registered P4-NGK and was operated by ABS Jets.[39][40] After his death in 2021, the 737 was used to repatriate his body back to the Czech Republic.[41][better source needed] He lived in an extensive residence in the village of Podkozí near Prague, and owned a number of other properties in various countries.[42] He also owned one of the largest collections of photographs taken by Josef Sudek.[7]

He was an avid fan of the Jára Cimrman plays, as result PPF Group is a sponsor of Jára Cimrman Theatre [cs] since 1999.[43]


Knik Glacier is located in Alaska
Knik Glacier
Knik Glacier
Approximate location of the accident, Knik Glacier (Alaska)

Kellner died on 27 March 2021 in an Airbus AS350 B3 helicopter crash,[44] while heliskiing in Alaska's backcountry near Knik Glacier, 50 miles (80 km) east of Anchorage, along with four other people.[45][46] The helicopter crashed into a mountain between Metal Creek and Grasshopper Valley at about 5,500 feet (1,700 m), 10 or 15 feet (3 or 4 m) from the top of the ridge, and rolled some 800 or 900 feet (240 or 270 m) downhill.[47] The missing helicopter was reported to the authorities two hours after the tracking signal stopped.[48] According to the preliminary report, GPS data show the helicopter hovered at a low altitude and speed (about one knot, about 1 mph), maneuvering over the ridge in the last three minutes of the flight. It crashed at about 18:35 AKDT.[49] According to court filings, Kellner survived the crash but “died while waiting for rescue”.[48]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Forbes profile: Petr Kellner". Forbes. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Petr Kellner". Aktuálně.cz (in Czech). 15 November 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  4. ^ "PPF Group – Key Group Personnel". PPF Group. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e Léko, István (29 March 2021). "Co možná nevíte o Kellnerovi: zahrál si ve filmu, pomáhal Cimrmanům a nerad se dělil o firmy". Lidovky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Petr Kellner". Filmový přehled (in Czech). Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d "iDNES.cz – Kellner – miliardář s nenávistí k počítači". iDNES.cz. 18 March 2002. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  8. ^ Commercial register at justice.cz, identification number (IČ) 43222277
  9. ^ a b Penz, Balazs; Fedorinova, Yuliya; Sazonov, Alexander (21 December 2019). "The Rise of the East European Billionaires". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 January 2024.
  10. ^ "Skupina PPF brzy získá od IPB další akcie České pojišťovny". Hospodářské noviny (IHNED.cz). Economia a.s. 21 April 2000.
  11. ^ "Prodej akcií IPB - PPF". Archived from the original on 19 November 2007.
  12. ^ "Mapování.cz - PPF: Rok 2000".
  13. ^ "PPF Group – History". PPF Group. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  14. ^ "PPF Group – Press Releases". PPF Group. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Generali Group: Shareholder structure". Generali. Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Ceska pojistovna and Generali PPF Holding". PPF Group. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Biggest mergers and acquisitions with Czech participation". CTK Business News. 4 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Ігор Коломойський розвиватиме Central European Media Enterprises в Центральній і Східній Європі" [Igor Kolomoisky will develop Central European Media Enterprises in Central and Eastern Europe]. newsru.ua (in Ukrainian). 3 September 2007. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Communist-era Hotel Praha set for demolition". Radio Prague International. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  20. ^ a b Léko, István; Junek, Adam (29 March 2021). "Kovbojská cesta k miliardám. Jak Kellner vybudoval své byznysové impérium". Lidovky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  21. ^ "Veřejný rejstřík a Sbírka listin". Ministerstvo spravedlnosti České republiky. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  22. ^ "Mlynář je ve vedení PPF. Kellner ho najal na lobbing". Aktuálně.cz (in Czech). 2 August 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  23. ^ "People". PPF Group. Archived from the original on 12 October 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Patnáct let mezi nejbohatšími světa. Kellner vstoupil do žebříčku Forbesu jako první Čech". Forbes (in Czech). 29 March 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  25. ^ "World's Billionaire List 2006". stats.areppim.com. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  26. ^ Kroll, Luisa (27 March 2006). "The World's Billionaires - Billionaire Bacchanalia". Forbes. Archived from the original on 30 March 2006.
  27. ^ "World's Billionaire List 2007". stats.areppim.com. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  28. ^ "The World's Billionaires". Forbes. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  29. ^ "The World's Billionaires – #76 Petr Kellner". Forbes. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  30. ^ Net worth: from Petr Kellner - Forbes, March 2013.
  31. ^ a b "E15: Nejbohatším Čechem zůstává Petr Kellner". E15.cz. 13 October 2010. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  32. ^ "Americký Forbes minimálně trojnásobně nadhodnotil majetek Petra Kellnera". Motejlek.com. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  33. ^ "Petr Kellner". Forbes.
  34. ^ "Billionaires 2019". Forbes. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  35. ^ "Billionaires 2019". Forbes. Archived from the original on 11 February 2019.
  36. ^ "Petr Kellner". Forbes. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  37. ^ "Petr Kellner". Forbes (in Czech). Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  38. ^ "Kellner si pořídil kapitální Boeing 737-700BBJ". motejlek.com. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  39. ^ "N9PF Private Boeing 737-700 BBJ". Planespotters.net. 4 June 2022. Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  40. ^ "Aircraft Data P4-NGK, 2010 Boeing 737-7HZ C/N 37583". Airport-data.com. Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  41. ^ Garrard, Bob (7 April 2021), P4-NGK, retrieved 6 December 2022
  42. ^ Vigdor, Neil; Albeck-Ripka, Livia (29 March 2021). "Czech Billionaire Is Among 5 Killed in Heli-Skiing Crash Near Alaska Glacier". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  43. ^ "PPF Group | Divadlo Járy Cimrmana". PPF Group (in Czech). Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  44. ^ Švamberk, Alex (29 March 2021). "Co zatím víme o nehodě Petra Kellnera" [What we know so far about Petr Kellner's accident]. Novinky.cz. Borgis.
  45. ^ "Helicopter crash in Alaska backcountry ski trip kills 5". AP NEWS. 28 March 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  46. ^ Vigdor, Neil; Albeck-Ripka, Livia (29 March 2021). "Czech Billionaire Is Among 5 Killed in Heli-Skiing Crash Near Alaska Glacier". The New York Times.
  47. ^ "NTSB: Helicopter crash that killed 5 occurred near top of high ridge above Knik Glacier". Anchorage Daily News. 29 March 2021.
  48. ^ a b Hollander, Zaz (31 March 2021). "2 hours lapsed between last signal and overdue report on fatal Alaska helicopter flight". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  49. ^ Burke, Jill; Cordova, Gilbert (13 April 2021). "NTSB releases preliminary on deadly helicopter crash near Knik Glacier". Alaskasnewssource.com. Retrieved 6 June 2021.

Further reading[edit]