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Indonesia Palm Oil Tycoon Who Built $9 Billion Empire Dies

  • Sinar Mas founder Eka Widjaja started trading palm oil at 15
  • Widjaja rebuilt fortune after default linked to Asia crisis
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Eka Tjipta Widjaja, who became a coconut and palm-oil trader at the age of 15 before building a multi-billion dollar empire with businesses spanning paper and pulp to financial services, has died.

Widjaja, 98, passed away at his home in Jakarta on Saturday, said Gandi Sulistiyanto, a managing director at Sinar Mas Group. The founder of Sinar Mas was Indonesia’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of $9.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.