UK billionaire gives away fortune to Catholic trust


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An English supermarket billionaire has put A$786 million - nearly all of his fortune - into a Catholic trust, to fulfill a promise to God.

Founder of the UK's Kwik Save supermarket chain, Albert Gubay, has put nearly all of his fortune into a trust from which half of all the funds will be spent on projects connected to the Catholic Church, Forbes online reported. The other half will be given away to whomever the trustees deem appropriate.

Gubay, 82, a lifelong Catholic, will keep 10 million pounds ($15 million) to tide him over during his old age. Gubay was born in North Wales to a Jewish Iraqi refugee father and an Irish Catholic mother. The young Mr Gubay cut his entrepreneurial teeth selling sweets, the Daily Mail reports.

He launched the first Kwik Save discount store in 1965, and later, while recovering from a back injury, set up what became the Total Fitness network of gyms.

In a 1997 television documentary, he said: "After the war I came out of the Royal Navy with a demob suit and £80.

"I borrowed £100 and made the pact with God: make me a millionaire - and you can have half of my money."

Mr Gubay, 82, has bettered his promise by giving most of his money away, leaving £10 million for himself. He plans to do more.

"I want to carry on supporting good causes, but my whole focus in the next few years is to work as hard as I can to meet my target of a £1 billion charity. Every penny wasted or lost reduces the pot available to the charity."