Billionaire and shipping mogul Yehuda (Yuli) Ofer, of the Ofer Brothers Group, passed away on Sunday night at his Herzliya home. He was 87-years-old.
Together with is older brother Sammy, Ofer was the primary shareholder in the Ofer Brothers conglomerate, better known as Israel Corp.
Israel Corp holds the controlling interest in some of Israel's
largest companies, including Israel Chemicals, Zim Shipping and the Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank, to name a few.
Sammy Ofer passed away in June, at the age of 89.
The Ofer brother were part of only a handful ofIsraelis to make it into Forbes Magazine's prestigious "World's Richest People" list.
In 2010, Forbes estimated the Ofer brothers' assets at $10.3 billion. Israel Corp shares are traded at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange according to an estimated company value of NIS 27.3 billion (roughly $7.4 billion).
Sammy (L) and Yuli Ofer (Reproduction: Avigail Uzi)
The Ofer brothers came to Israel from Romania in 1924 with their parents. Their empire began as a small shipping company in 1945, when the two were shipping agents for a Romanian company. In 1950 they began buying their own ships, the 1960s saw the company expand its global reach and by the 1970s, the brothers' business had turned into a full fledged international empire.
The 1980s saw the business expand to include Asia alongside the US and Europe and in the 1990s, the group branched into fuel transports.
The shipping company soon gave birth to a subsidiary, Royal Caribbean, which offered luxury cruises.
By 2000, the Ofer brothers' fleet of over 200 vessels was considered one of the largest in the world.
Yuli Ofer is survived by his wife Ruth and two children, Liora and Doron. He will be laid to rest in Moshav Beni Zion, on Tuesday.