Markus Liebherr
Markus Liebherr

(1948-03-30)30 March 1948
Kirchdorf an der Iller, Württemberg, Germany
Died10 August 2010(2010-08-10) (aged 62)
OccupationEntrepreneur and Engineer
Known forOwner of Mali International AG
Owner of Southampton FC
Home townBulle, Switzerland
Net worthIncrease£3 billion (2013)

Markus Liebherr (30 March 1948[1] – 10 August 2010[2]) was a German-born Swiss businessman and a member of one of Europe's top family business dynasties.

He was the son of the late Hans Liebherr, who started the company Liebherr, one of the world's leading manufacturers of construction machinery, set up over 60 years ago in Germany.

Markus was given equal shares in the German holding company in the 1980s when the business moved its management headquarters to Switzerland. He later handed most of his shares back to his family, and ran his own group of companies, the Mali Group, from 1994 until his death.

His holding company, DMWSL 613 Limited, bought English Football League side Southampton in July 2009, which took the club out of administration.

Liebherr died of a heart attack, on 10 August 2010.[3][4]

MALI International AG

The Mali group contains five independent businesses, all belonging to the MALI Markus Liebherr International group whose head offices are in Fribourg, Switzerland.

The group's website says: "Our ideology is dealing with the development of leading-edge products oriented at the market that follow technologically new ways and show ecologically a large potential."

Southampton Football Club

Main article: Southampton F.C.

On 8 July 2009, 98 days after Southampton Leisure Holdings PLC, Southampton's former holding company, had been placed in administration under Begbies Traynor,[5] Liebherr's bid to buy the club was successfully completed. The total amount he had paid has not been disclosed but it is believed to be around £13–15 million.[6]

In the first year of Liebherr's ownership, Southampton F.C. overcame a ten-point deduction for going into administration to mount a late challenge for the play-offs, missing out by seven points. On 28 March 2010, Southampton won the Football League Trophy at Wembley Stadium.[7]

Since then Southampton has had a remarkable climb, reaching the highest division in 2012 and now having solidified themselves in that division.

In 2017, Markus Liebherr's daughter Katharina Liebherr sold an 80 stake in the club for GBP210 million to Chinese Lander Sports Investment company owned by the Gao family.[8]


  1. ^ "Company Details: DMWSL 613 Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  2. ^ Retrieved 12/08/10
  3. ^ Freiburger Unternehmer Markus Liebherr gestorben, 15. August 2010
  4. ^ "Markus Liebherr Of Southampton Football Club". Southampton FC. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  5. ^ Oldknow returns to St Mary’s (From Daily Echo)
  6. ^ Swiss Saints deal completed (From Daily Echo)
  7. ^ Shemilt, Stephan (28 March 2010). "Carlisle 1 - 4 Southampton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Chinesischer Investor von zweifelhaftem Ruf übernimmt den FC Southampton". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2019.