After Theo Sr. was briefly kidnapped in the early 1970s, he fought successfully to deduct the 7-million-deutschmark ransom from his taxes as a business expense. In 1971, Albrecht was kidnapped for 17 days. And the company has also been a global hit, with 10,000 stores now serving millions of people across three continents. After his death in 2010 at age 88, the Sydney Morning Herald cited German paparazzo Franz Ruch, who claimed they both “used to drive home in separate cars and varied the route each day”. Theo Albrecht was the German business wunderkind who built the Aldi supermarket empire alongside his brother Karl. The same year, it was also revealed that Berthold’s will sought to exclude his wife and children from running Aldi Nord, which Babette fought in court, according to Business Insider. According to The Guardian, he was held for 17 days — locked in a wardrobe in a house in Duesseldorf — until the kidnappers were paid a ransom of 7 million deutschmarks. Babette Albrecht has been dubbed the “merry widow”. They focused on no-frills items which were sold cheaply and shunned advertising, renaming the store Aldi – short for Albrecht Discount – to reflect their business model. ALDI rappresenta un modo nuovo di fare la spesa, in cui qualità e convenienza si incontrano per soddisfare i tuoi bisogni. The tale of Aldi and the Albrechts is punctuated by hardship, pragmatic sacrifice, and the daunting drawbacks of success. Multimillionaire Theo Albrecht from Essen, co-owner of the Aldi supermarket chain, stands at the window of his house on the 17th of December in 1971, after his kidnapping. “With this document I undertake to ensure the preservation of the philosophy of our family, which is to serve the consortium Aldi Nord and to foster this, at the same time as setting aside self-interests and practising a modest and abstemious way of life,” she said in the will made public by German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. It caused the German grocery billionaire to adopt a similarly reclusive lifestyle to Mr Albrecht, leading him to be dubbed a “phantom” by the press. Cäcilie Albrecht pictured with her sons Theo (second from left) and Berthold a year after Theo’s kidnapping.Source:AAP. This wasn't the work of a dangerous gang, though. The discounted ransom was paid by the Bishop of Essen and Theo was released after more than two weeks. Because history loves punny coincidences, the first link in the AldI supermarket chain was built in a city that's literally synonymous with food. In the 1970s, the founder of Aldi rival Kaufland, Dieter Schwarz, was also reportedly threatened by kidnappers. But the family behind it has been rocked by scandal after scandal. Aldi is known today as … She also sought to exclude them from future business decisions. Unfortunately, the store's origin story isn't all rainbows and charming semantics. The culprits turned out to be the Wet Bandits of abduction: convicted burglar Paul Kron, a.k.a. He was survived by his wife Cäcilie, who died in 2018, and their two sons Berthold, who died in 2012, and Theo Jr. In 1971, something shocking happened: Aldi co-founder Theo Albrecht became the victim of one of Germany's most high-profile kidnapping cases. Qui trovi i volantini dei punti vendita ALDI: tante offerte di qualità a prezzi imbattibili ti aspettano ogni settimana! Anna's two sons, Theo and Karl, took the reins in 1948 and took Aldi to the next level. Clearly still a diamond in the rough, Kron paid off his debts at an electrical appliance shop with some of the ransom money while Ollenburg fled to Mexico. The abductor also claimed the majority of the cash also went missing, sparking endless rumours and conspiracy theories. A voice informed her that her husband had been kidnapped and would later demand that the family fork over 7 million Deutschmarks — the equivalent of more than $3.9 million – to buy Theo's freedom. The pair were responsible for one of the most infamous crimes in post-war Germany: the kidnapping of Theo Albrecht, the billionaire founder of the Aldi budget supermarket chain. Aldi is one of Australia’s best-loved supermarket chains, winning over shoppers with its insanely popular special buys, cheap-as-chips groceries and kooky middle-aisle products. Albrecht and his brother Theo founded Aldi after World War Two and seventy years later was ranked by Forbes as Germany's richest person with a fortune of almost $26 billion. As Aldi took off and made the Albrecht brothers a fortune, it also made them a target. "Diamond Paul," and his former lawyer, Heinz Joachim Ollenburg, who had a bogus high school diploma. The name Aldi comes from "Albrecht Discount." He applied for a tax break on the grounds that his kidnapping occurred because he owned Aldi; therefore, the ransom was a business expenditure. The Owner Of Trader Joe’s Was Once Kidnapped – But He Had A Smart Plan To Get The Ransom Money Back. Picture: Ralph Orlowski/Getty ImagesSource:Supplied. The Aldi family has been plagued by a series of scandals. The kidnappers kept him hidden in a cupboard for 17 days and during that time, he reportedly haggled over the ransom money, according to Mr Ollenberg himself. Picture: Ralph Orlowski/Getty ImagesSource:Supplied. Theo Albrecht from Essen, co-owner of the Aldi supermarket chain in 1971. picture alliance via Getty Images Aldi Family Fortune. Nationwide News Pty Limited Copyright © 2020. She has been dubbed the “merry widow” by the German press due to her appearance on a German reality television program as well as her attendance at society events and interviews with the media. Aldi (stylized as ALDI) is the common brand of two German family-owned discount supermarket chains with over 10,000 stores in 20 countries, and an estimated combined turnover of more than €50 billion. “Berthold himself said when he was alive that he had considerable doubts as to the suitability of his children to respect the life’s work of my husband who, with my support, built the consortium Aldi Nord, and to serve it with respect and with responsibility towards its thousands of employees,” she wrote in the will heard in an Essen court in February. It eventually spread across the globe, opening its first Australian store in Sydney in 2001. The famously frugal grocery baron was eventually released, and went on to famously claim the ransom as a tax deduction after arguing it was a business expense. Karl’s son and daughter, Karl Jr. and Beate, inherited billions but are also famously reclusive. Albrecht, who was Germany's second-richest man after his brother, with a fortune worth nearly €17 billion ($24.7 billion), had kept a low profile after being kidnapped at gunpoint in 1971. Appropriately for the owner of Aldi, Theo was dressed so frugally that the kidnappers did not initially believe they had kidnapped the right person. exclude them from future business decisions. It’s one of our favourite chains with Special Buys that spark frenzies. There are 10,000 Aldi stores worldwide. The grocery juggernaut was born in 1913 and started out as a humble corner store in Essen in Germany and owned by Karl and Anna Albrecht. After being formed in 1946, Aldi and the Albrecht family have overcome rows over cigarettes, a family kidnapping, and tax deduction court battles to … Theo retired from daily operations in 1993 and remained as chairman of the board. As business boomed, danger loomed, and in 1971 that danger abducted Theo Albrecht. Theo's Aldi Nord set to operate in the north of Germany and Karl's Aldi Süd, set to operate in Germany's south. In 2010 it was revealed they had a combined fortune worth over $40 billion. After Berthold’s death, his widow Babette allegedly angered her in-laws by going on a multimillion-dollar spending spree, snapping up art and classic cars. A voice informed her that her husband had been kidnapped and would later demand that the family fork over 7 million Deutschmarks — the equivalent of more than $3.9 million – to buy Theo's freedom. In 1971, Theo Albrecht was kidnapped at gunpoint and held for ransom, with criminals Heinz-Joachim Ollenburg and Paul Kron demanding seven million Deutschmarks, or almost $AU3 million. When brother Karl died at age 94 in 2014, he was the world’s 23rd richest person with a $25 billion fortune. Aldi's Albrecht family is notoriously reclusive, but their multi-billion dollar fortune has made them a target for scandal and crime. Aided by Germany's belt-tightening consumers, Aldi expanded to 15 locations by 1950. Theo Albrecht was changed forever by the kidnapping.Source:AFP. Picture: Peter Becker/Picture Alliance via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images. The Owner of Trader Joe's Was Once Kidnapped – but He Had a Smart Plan to Get the Ransom Money Back The truth about the Aldi owner's kidnapping.