José María Ruiz Mateos, founder of Rumasa, died this morning in hospital at 84. The funeral will take place tomorrow in Rota where he was born. He was probably Spain’s best known businessman and certainly its most controversial. Rumasa Holding consisted of no fewer than 230 companies employing 65,000 staff until it was expropriated in 1983 by the government of Felipe González for alleged tax fraud. In 1991 he started again with Nueva Rumasa but in 2011 that all began to collapse amid share and tax fraud allegations, and the only reason he did not die in jail was his health. Above all he was a character and a family man who did much to modernise the Sherry business, yet much of what he did had a negative effect as well. DEP José María.