Américo Amorim, Portugal’s king of cork, dies at 82

Américo Amorim, who was known as the king of cork for building his fortune on cork stoppers and was believed to be Portugal’s wealthiest man, died July 13. He was 82.

His company, Corticeira Amorim, announced his death but did not provide additional details. Mr. Amorim had stepped down from his executive duties in October because of health problems.

Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer, accounting for about half of global output, and no cork company is larger than Corticeira Amorim, which Mr. Amorim’s grandfather founded in 1870. The company processes about one quarter of all the cork in the world, helping Mr. Amorim build a fortune worth $4.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

With plastic stoppers for wine bottles encroaching on his market, Mr. Amorim diversified cork uses into areas such as insulation and furniture and created a conglomerate, the Amorim Group, that expanded his business into wine production and tourism. Mr. Amorim also held significant stakes in Portuguese financial, telecommunications and energy companies.

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Américo Amorim