According to his relatives, a US billionaire financier who was a pioneer of the debt-fueled company purchase known as a leveraged buyout has been found dead.
Thomas H. Lee’s loved ones released a statement expressing their “deep sadness” over his passing. According to the New York Post, he shot himself in the head at his Manhattan workplace.
The New York City Police Department confirmed to the BBC on Thursday that a man, aged 78, was discovered deceased at 767 Fifth Avenue.
These are the corporate headquarters for Thomas H. Lee Capital LLC.
Forbes estimates that Mr. Lee had a net worth of $2 billion (£1.6 billion) at the time of his death.
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The police spokesman would not say whether or whether the guy had shot himself, saying instead that the medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
Officers responded to a 911 call from a Fifth Avenue office at around 11:00 (14:00 GMT) on Thursday morning, according to a statement sent to BBC News.
Upon their arrival, emergency medical services “pronounce[d] the male deceased at the scene,” they claimed.
The family’s close friend and spokesman, Michael Sitrick, released a statement in which he said, “While the world knew him as one of the pioneers in the private equity business and a successful businessman, we knew him as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, sibling, friend, and philanthropist who always put others’ needs before his own.”
In addition to being a forefather of the leveraged buyout, Mr. Lee was well-known for his acquisition of the beverage firm Snapple in 1992 and subsequent sale to Quaker Oats for $1.7bn, or 32 times his initial investment.
Mr. Lee was also well-known for his generosity; he had served as a trustee for a number of prestigious New York City art institutions, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Modern Art.
He gave $22 million to his alma mater, Harvard University, in 1996; some of it has been utilized to provide student aid.
“Money has come easily to me. I’d be pleased to return some of it if you’d like “the time he made the remark
His wife, Ann Tenenbaum, and five children are left behind.