Richard Pratt dies aged 74

One of Australia’s richest men and renowned for building what was the family business into a packaging empire, Pratt died yesterday evening, with his funeral set to take place in Melbourne tomorrow.


Earlier this week, Pratt had criminal charges against him relating to allegations of misleading the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) dropped due to his declining health.


“On the basis of Mr Pratt’s ill health alone the director has decided that continuance is not appropriate,” Commonwealth Prosecutor Mark Dean SC told the Federal Court.


He added, however, that it was believed the prosecution of Pratt would have succeeded.


Pratt’s lawyer Leon Zwier later told ABC Radio that Pratt was comforted by the news that the charges had been dropped, though he was still eager to clear his name.


“He has maintained from the beginning that he is innocent and is presumed to be innocent and that’s all that matters,” Zwier said.


“Richard Pratt never wanted, doesn’t want and would not have wanted prosecution to be terminated because of ill-health.”


Pratt had been charged with giving misleading evidence during an ACCC inquiry into allegations of price-fixing between Visy and fellow packaging giant Amcor.


Pratt’s son Anthony, who currently heads up Visy’s US operations, is expected to replace his father as head of the company.

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