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Arnold Maersk Mc-Kinney Moeller

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Arnold Maersk Mc-Kinney Moeller (Associated Press Photo)
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Arnold Maersk Mc-Kinney Moeller, the Dane who created the global shipping and oil conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, died Monday at the age of 98, his company said.

The shy Mc-Kinney Moeller, who was listed on Forbes magazine's annual billionaire's list, turned two small shipping companies that his father had created into a global corporate giant with 108,000 workers across 130 countries.

The Moeller-Maersk group owns the world's biggest publicly-held container shipping group, Maersk Sealand.

Chairman Michael Pram Rasmussen said the company had "lost a businessman of international scope and a man who...can take credit for the group being among the world's leading (businesses) and Denmark's undisputed largest business."

Flags at the group's Copenhagen headquarters were flown at half-mast. Buoyed by a rise in the wider stock market, shares in the company were up 3.2 percent to 42.600 kroner ($7,487).

Mc -Kinney Moeller stepped down as board chairman in 2003, at the age of 90. Five months earlier, he steered the two companies that formed the nucleus of the A.P. Moeller group through a merger, creating the current A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S.

Although he withdrew from day-to-day management in 1993, when he appointed his deputy, Jess Soederberg, as chief executive officer, Mc-Kinney Moeller was continuously involved in the company's management.

Soederberg left the company in 2007, reportedly after a disagreement with Mc-Kinney Moeller, and was replaced by Nils Smedegaard Andersen, then CEO at Carlsberg.

In high spirits but visibly frail, Mc-Kinney Moeller made his last public appearance Thursday at the group's general assembly in Copenhagen.

"We sisters have lost a father who never betrayed either his family or his work," Ane Maersk Mc-Kinney Uggla said on behalf of the three daughters.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

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