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Américo Amorim dies; Portuguese billionaire made fortune on cork

LISBON, Portugal — Américo Amorim, known as the King of Cork for building his fortune on cork stoppers and believed to be Portugal’s wealthiest man, has died. He was 82.

Amorim’s fortune was recently estimated by Forbes at $5 billion. His company Corticeira Amorim is the world leader in cork production. Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer, accounting for about half of global output.

With plastic stoppers for wine bottles encroaching on his market, Amorim diversified cork uses into areas such as insulation and furniture.

He created a conglomerate, Grupo Amorim, which expanded his business into wine production and tourism. Amorim also held significant stakes in Portuguese financial, telecom and energy companies.

His company said he died Thursday but did not immediately provide further details.

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