The Wallenbergs have dominated Swedish corporate life for decades, building up an empire that began life in the mid-1850s when Andre Oscar Wallenberg founded Stockholm's Enskilda Bank, now SEB (>> Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB).
The family owns major stakes in Ericsson (>> Ericsson), Atlas Copco (>> Atlas Copco AB), Electrolux (>> AB Electrolux) and other blue-chip Swedish companies.
Peter Wallenberg, who was 88, had been chairman of the family's listed investment vehicle Investor (>> Investor AB) from 1982 to 1997. More recently he had stepped back from day-to-day business activities.
"It is with deep regret that the Board of Directors of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation announce that its Honorary Chairman ... Peter Wallenberg has passed away peacefully at his home on Monday," the Knut and Wallenberg Foundation said on Monday. The foundation has around 82 billion Swedish crowns ($10.10 billion) in assets.
He was born in 1926 but did not take over the family empire until 1982 following his older brother Marc's suicide in 1971 and his father's death in 1982.
He oversaw a consolidation of family holdings, selling stakes in companies such as car maker Saab and engineering group Alfa Laval (>> Alfa Laval AB) and taking closer control over core businesses.
Under his chairmanship, Investor also broadened its focus, which lead to the mergers of some of its major Swedish investments and the creation of power engineering group ABB (>> ABB Ltd.), pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (>> AstraZeneca plc) and forestry products maker Stora Enso (>> Stora Enso OYJ).
Investor looked beyond the family to replace Wallenberg in 1997, appointing Percy Barnevik who had been chief executive of ABB. The Wallenberg business empire is now largely run by Peter's son Jacob Wallenberg and his cousin Marcus Wallenberg.
Peter Wallenberg spent the last few years in retirement at the family estate outside Stockholm.
($1 = 8.1178 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Johan Sennero. Editing by Jane Merriman)