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Death of Rainer Schaller confirmed

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Authorities in Costa Rica have confirmed the death of RSG Group founder, Rainer Schaller and his son Aaron following a private plane crash on 21 October.

Their bodies were located on 22 October, but it has taken until now for their identities to be confirmed and for RSG to issue a statement – potentially due to the complexities of German inheritance law which HCM understands will see Schaller's older brother, renowned conductor Gerd Schaller, inherit the RSG business.

The remaining passengers, Schaller's partner, Christiane Schikorsky, daughter Finja, the Swiss pilot and Schaller's personal trainer, Marcus Kurreck, are still missing, along with much of the plane wreckage which Costa Rican authorities say may never be found.

The jet, a Piaggio 180, vanished on its way to Limon Costa Rica from Mexico. It appears no mayday signal was sent, while the plane broke up in unknown circumstances, scattering luggage as it did so, indicating a catastrophic event of some kind is likely to have taken place.

The future of RSG Group has not been confirmed, however, industry insiders have indicated it will be an acquisition or merger target, given its global reach and substantial portfolio of brands.

These include McFit, John Reed and Gold's Gym, which Schaller acquired out of bankruptcy in 2020 for $100m, going on to revive the brand with a new flagship in Berlin.

In a statement, the board of RSG said: "Rainer was more than the founder and guiding light of our company, he was someone who inspired people to reach for the stars and encouraged others to believe in themselves and their own potential. He was firmly convinced that there are no limits to those who pursue common goals with united forces.

"As a visionary, Rainer pushed ideas forward and made them a reality. With his boundless passion for innovation, he achieved the impossible and as founder, owner and CEO of RSG, he created and lived a corporate culture where trust is sown and true friendship is reaped alongside success.

"As a friend and mentor, he was there for others unconditionally. Approachable and open, he listened to others and provided reassurance – especially when they needed it most.

"As a person, Rainer loved life and yet he never forgot that you must go through struggles in order to grow.

"In 25 years, there were countless moments when we worked together, celebrated, laughed, and motivated each other. We will remember every one of them that shaped us as a company and as an RSG Group family – gratefully and proudly.

"All these moments will drive us to continue Rainer’s vision and to let his values live on, for Rainer and his family, for our colleagues, friends, and long-time companions and for all those whose lives they have touched as much as ours."

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Authorities in Costa Rica have confirmed the death of RSG Group founder, Rainer Schaller and his son Aaron following a private plane crash on 21 October.
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