Billionaire packaging king Richard Pratt has died aged 74 following a battle with prostate cancer, a family spokesman has announced.
Visy Packaging spokesman Tony Gray confirmed that Mr Pratt died just after 7pm (AEST) on Tuesday.
Prominent personalities, including politicians, football players and businessmen, have visited the home of the Visy boss over the past days to pay their respects and to say farewell.
Mr Pratt, 74, leaves behind wife Jeanne, son Anthony, daughters Heloise and Fiona and grandchildren.
The eulogies for Mr Pratt started pouring in once news of his terminal illness broke early last week.
Victorian Premier John Brumby described the self-made businessman and prominent philanthropist as a “great Victorian and a great Australian”.
“He came to this country with not much and made a lot of it and built a huge business,” Mr Brumby said on Tuesday.
“I think he\’s a stunning success story, one of the great Australian success stories.”
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said her thoughts were with the Pratt family.
“Obviously, this is a very, very difficult time for the Pratt family and I would wish them well in that very difficult time,” Ms Gillard said.
The Carlton Football Club expressed their sorrow.
Mr Pratt is credited with bringing Carlton back from the brink of ruin in 2007.
Coach Brett Ratten and several Carlton players visited Mr Pratt and his family on Tuesday.
“He\’s been the catalyst to get our club off the bottom,” Ratten said.
Captain Chris Judd said he couldn\’t imagine what the club would look like without Mr Pratt\’s influence.
“I doubt I would be here as well,” Judd said.
Pratt’s lawyer said he took great comfort from learning the criminal case against him had been dropped.
In the Federal Court on Monday the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew all charges against Mr Pratt on the grounds of his advanced terminal cancer.
“His family conveyed to him the outcome of the court case and it gave him comfort at this particular time,” Mr Zwier told ABC Radio.
Mr Zwier said Mr Pratt told him that the case should never have been brought to court.
“He maintained it should never have been brought and maintained that he should be shown to be innocent and he has,” Mr Zwier said.
Mr Zwier said Mr Pratt, 74, the head of the $5 billion Visy Packaging global empire, is “ailing, very sick and frail”.
“I have no doubt he is extremely grateful for the compassion and the kindness that Justice Ryan delivered this ruling during his lifetime,” Mr Zwier said.
He said that the CDPP and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission dropped the charges on the grounds of ill-health but at this stage of Mr Pratt\’s life, that was irrelevant.
“He has maintained from the beginning that he is innocent and is presumed to be innocent and that\’s all that matters,” Mr Zwier said.
“Richard Pratt never wanted, doesn\’t want and would not have wanted prosecution to be terminated because of ill-health.
“Mr Pratt will die an innocent man.”
It is alleged Mr Pratt misled the ACCC at a hearing in 2005 when he denied a 2001 conversation he allegedly had about price fixing with then Amcor chief executive Russell Jones.