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Athina Onassis Joins Board of Directors of French Supermarket Chain

Athina Onassis
Athina Onassis. Credit: wikimedia commons / Michael Kramer CC BY 3.0

Athina Onassis is taking a new step in the business world by joining the board of directors of French supermarket chain Groupe Casino.

According to French financial newspaper Les Echos, the granddaughter and heiress of Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis, entered the French company after changes in the composition of the Groupe Casino board of directors and an increase in the share capital.

The new consortium will have the majority stake owning 52 percent of the Groupe Casino share, the newspaper states.

The new board of directors will include Athina Onassis, Elisabeth Sandager, general manager of Helena Rubinstein (L’Oréal group) and Branislav Miškovič from Daniel Kretinsky. Nathalie Andrieux remains in her position in the Casino board of directors.

Other than its eponymous brands Casino Supermarkets and Géant Casino, the Group developed Monoprix, Franprix, Leader Price in France, but also Pao de Açúcar and Extra in Brazil and Exito and Carulla in Colombia.

Athena Onassis, who is also heiress to the French pharmaceutical group Roussel-Uclaf, is close to Daniel Kretinsky and her well-known name will be added to the list of the new board of directors members.

The Sole Heiress of the Onassis Estate

Athina Onassis, born January 29, 1985 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, is the sole heiress of Christina Onassis, daughter of Aristotle Onassis who inherited 55 percent of the Greek shipping magnate’s fortune. Her father is Thierry Roussel.

In November 1988, when she was three years old, her mother – who was reportedly addicted to drugs and alcohol – died at the age of 37 after a heart attack in Argentina. She thus became the sole heir to her mother’s assets, half of which were managed by a charitable foundation based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

Her father, Roussel, sued the “Onassis Foundation” to release the inheritance to him, but the courts decided against him because he was already divorcing Christina Onassis. The trust company Fides KPMG in Lucerne was commissioned to manage the Onassis assets from 1999 until Athina’s 18th birthday.

Athina Onassis grew up in sheltered circumstances with her father in France, Spain and Lucerne, Switzerland. Roussel managed to keep his daughter away from public eye.

In 1992, The New York Times cited a report from the Associated Press, naming Onassis one of the year’s new billionaires. Athina is often referred to as a “billionaire heiress” in the media, but the true extent of her wealth remains unknown. Some accounts claim that Onassis’ net worth is less than $1 billion.

There have been several estimates of her inheritance, including the island of Skorpios in Greece, which was later sold to trusts connected with Ekaterina Rybolovleva, daughter of Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought the island for $153 million.


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