Photo Credit: Pierre Terdjman / Flash90
Eitan Wertheimer (R) and Warren Buffett visit the Old City of Jerusalem, September 17, 2006.

Businessman and industrialist Eitan Wertheimer, the son of Stef Wertheimer, the founder of Israeli multinational metal cutting tools company ISCAR Metalworking, and the man who ran the family empire until it was sold to Warren Buffett for $6 billion has died at the age of 70.

More than two years ago, a cancerous growth was discovered in Wertheimer’s head. He underwent surgery in Austria but the tumor could not be completely removed. He returned to Israel and his condition deteriorated gradually.

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Wertheimer told Calcalist in 2013 about the sale of the family’s company to Buffett: “It was important for us to sell the business before there were family issues. We see what happens in other family businesses, and we didn’t need to wait for problems. … This is the right move for the employees, for our family, and for the company that’s going forward to many good years.”

Eitan Wertheimer was the second child out of four (two sons and two daughters) and grew up in Nahariya, the son of Miriam and Stef Wertheimer, an Oleh from Germany. At the age of five, he started working in a carpentry shop. As a child, he suffered from polio and lost one eye. He served in the IDF in a development unit of the Munitions Corps.

At the age of 24, after completing his IDF service, he tried to integrate as a production worker in his father’s ISCAR factory but soon left with two other workers to establish an independent initiative in the field of machining tools. He spent nine months in the United States where he worked for the Adams semiconductor company.

In 1982 he rejoined his father’s business and ran a recovery program at ISCAR. He took over managing the company after his father had been seriously injured in a car accident. Under his management, the company’s profitability grew more than 20-fold.

As of 2019, the Wertheimer family’s fortune is estimated at $9.5 billion.

As of 2005, Eitan Wertheimer’s assets include:

More than 100,000 square meters of private real estate, scattered throughout Israel, including Beit Bachar in Tel Aviv
5 aircraft
3 yachts – among them the largest and most luxurious owned by an Israeli
2 helicopters
A collection of 220 cars, mainly vintage

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.