Gerrit van der Valk, who turned his parents’ business into the Netherlands’ largest catering company and became embroiled in a tax scandal, has died of a brain haemorrhage at his Spanish home in Marbella. He was 80 years old.
The Van der Valk chain of hotels and motels with its distinctive toucan logo has 56 establishments in the Netherlands and 20 abroad, all of which remain in family hands.
In 1982, Gerrit’s wife Toos was kidnapped by an Italian gang and released after payment of a ransom of some 13 million guilders.
In 1994 he was arrested as part of a major investigation into tax dodging at the Van der Valk empire which led to a 140 million guilder tax surcharge.
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