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Former boss of the agricultural machinery manufacturer is dead

The majority shareholder and long-time boss of the agricultural machinery manufacturer Claas is dead. He died at the age of 94.

Helmut Claas is dead. The majority shareholder and long-time managing director of the agricultural machinery manufacturer Claas, based in Harsewinkel in East Westphalia, died on Tuesday at the age of 94, as the company announced on Wednesday. The newspaper “Die Glocke” had previously reported online.

Helmut Claas is the son of the company founder August Claas. In 1921 he had applied for a patent for a machine to tie straw. That was the nucleus of today’s global corporation, which Helmut’s father built up together with the brothers Franz, Theo and Bernhard. In the 2019/2020 financial year, Claas, with almost 11,400 employees, generated around 4 billion euros in sales from the sale of combine harvesters, tractors and harvesting machines.

Helmut Claas: The long-time managing director of the agricultural machinery manufacturer Claas has died. (Source: dpa / Claas)Helmut Claas: The long-time managing director of the agricultural machinery manufacturer Claas has died. (Source: Claas / dpa)

Claas entered into a partnership with Renault

Helmut Claas, who was born in Harsewinkel, joined the company in 1958, was appointed to the management board in 1962 and, in 1996, after the transformation into a partnership limited by shares, head of the supervisory board until 2010. In 2003 he sealed a partnership for the construction of tractors with a handshake with Renault boss Patrick Faure.

Claas took over the business completely in 2008 and has been building the product in Le Mans in France ever since. In 2013, Claas was seriously injured in a traffic accident in Harsewinkel at the age of 87.

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