Pietro Ferrero, the joint chief executive at Italian confectionery giant Ferrero, has died in South Africa, the company has confirmed.

Mr Ferrero, 48, was on a business trip in South Africa, a spokesman told just-food this evening (18 April).

The exact details of Mr Ferrero’s death are unclear, although the spokesman suggested the company believed the executive became ill while out cycling and fell from his bike.

However, the spokesman added: “We don’t know the exact information. The details are fragmented.”

Mr Ferrero was joint CEO of the confectioner – which owns brands including Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Bueno and Nutella – with his brother, Giovanni.

Ferrero was founded in 1946 by two brothers, also called Pietro and Giovanni. The former’s son, Michele, built up the company, which is the world’s fourth-largest confectioner – behind Mars Inc, Kraft Foods and Nestle – and a business generating annual sales of EUR7bn.

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