Matriarch of Brazilian Steel Family Steinbruch Dies at 85

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  • Son Benjamin is CEO of Sao Paulo-based steelmaker CSN
  • Late husband Mendel Steinbruch was co-founder of Grupo Vicunha

Dorothea Steinbruch, the matriarch of a family that controls steelmaker Cia. Siderurgica Nacional and lender Banco Fibra SA, died on Saturday, according to Sao Paulo’s Israelite Congregation. She was 85.

She was the widow of Mendel Steinbruch, co-founder of textile manufacturer Grupo Vicunha, whose current chief executive officer is their son Ricardo. Their other son Benjamin is the CEO of steel company CSN, and Banco Fibra’s chairman. Dorothea’s daughter Elisabeth is on the lender’s board.

Press officers for Vicunha, CSN and son Benjamin didn’t return phone calls on Sunday seeking comment.

Dorothea was included on Forbes’s list of billionaires until 2014.

For the Steinbruchs, Banco Fibra’s five straight annual losses and spiraling capital needs have added to a growing pile of debt around their financial empire. Meanwhile, CSN was downgraded by Fitch Ratings in September, and the steelmaker was said to have hired banks to help it sell assets after net debt surged to five times its market value.