John Angelicoussis, owner of one of the world’s biggest private fleets and among the most influential figures in modern shipping, died in Athens on Saturday.

The 72-year-old Greek shipowner had been in hospital since 20 March after collapsing at home from a cardiac arrest. He never regained consciousness.

Angelicoussis died "peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by close family", his daughter and successor Maria said in a statement. "He will be deeply missed".

His funeral will be held on Monday, sources said.

The funeral will be attended by a limited number of "close family members", in line with draconian coronavirus restrictions in Greece.

"The family respectfully requests that no one else attends at either the church or cemetery, even from afar, as to do so would place all at risk," according to a separate statement.

Instead of flowers or wreathes, donations can be made to a state hospital in the working-class suburb of Nikea near Piraeus, "an institution supported by John and close to his heart".

More details are to be provided soon through a portal on the website of the Angelicoussis Shipping Group (ASG), the umbrella entity for ship management companies Maran Dry Management, Maran Tankers Management and Maran Gas Maritime.

The portal will also allow for condolence messages or memories of the deceased owner.

Closely watched

Angelicoussis was widely acknowledged as one of the most successful Greeks of his generation, earning a reputation for closely watched market moves.

He considerably expanded the fleet he inherited from his father Anthony into gas carriers, tankers and dry bulkers.

With more than 130 ASG vessels flying the Greek flag, he alone accounted for nearly one-third of the entire oceangoing fleet registered in his home country.

The total Angelicoussis fleet of 140 ships and 10 newbuildings is by far the largest Greek-controlled fleet at nearly 28m dwt, over 10m more than the second-place group of companies controlled by the family of George Procopiou, according to shipping data banks.

ASG employs about 300 shoreside personnel, as well as more than 3,700 officers and crew.

Maria Angelicoussis, John's only child, has been already anointed to succeed him. The 39-year-old had been acting chief executive of ASG in her father's absence. Upon his death, she took over the role formally.

After giving up a medical career in the UK, Maria Angelicoussis has worked at ASG since 2008.

More recently, she assumed a prominent co-leading role in the company with her father’s blessing and guidance. The current senior management team is of her own picking and confidence after a management reshuffle that saw the departure of previous senior executives.

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