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Businessman Gilberto Benetton battled a short illness before his death in Treviso, North East Italy, earlier today.
The father-of-two, who was worth almost $3 billion (£2.3bn), founded the group with his two brothers in 1965.
Over the next 50 years he saw it grow into one of the biggest fashion companies in the world.
Benetton became known for its bright colours in the 1980s and 1990s and its bold, often controversial, adverts.
His brother Carlo also died earlier this year.
Benetton Group, which owned Sisley, branched out into construction, transport and catering and now controls travel caterer Autogrill and Rome's airports.
Gilberto was the former head of family holding company Edizione, which controls Italy's biggest infrastructure group Atlantia.
He was the only member of the family on the Atlantia board when a bridge in Genoa operated by a unit of Atlantia collapsed in August, killing 43 people.
Gilberto was an avid basketball fan, and was inducted into the Italian Basketball of Fame in 2012 for his contribution to Italian basketball.
He also owned the professional club Treviso Basket.
In a statement, the chairman of Atlantia, Fabio Cerchiai, and CEO Giovanni Castellucci said they shared the family's pain at Gilberto's death.
More to follow…
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