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Frank Stronach

Frank Stronach (born September 6, 1932 as Franz Strohsack) is an Austrian and Canadian businessman. He is the founder of Magna International, an international automotive parts company based in Aurora, Ontario, Canada, and Magna Entertainment Corp., which specializes in horse-racing entertainment.

Early life

Born Franz Strohsack in the small town of Kleinsemmering, Styria, Austria to a working-class couple. His childhood was marked by the Great Depression and the Second World War. At 14 he left school to apprentice as a tool and die maker. In 1954 he arrived in Montréal, Canada, and later moved to Ontario.

He is married to Elfriede Sallmutter, also from Austria originally, and has two children: Belinda and Andrew.


Business career

In 1957 he started his first business, Multimatic Investments Ltd., in the old manufacturing district of Toronto. In 1969 his firm acquired its first automotive parts contract and merged with Magna Electronics. In 1973 the name was convered from Multimatic Investments Ltd to Magna International Ltd., Over the following decades, after several mergers and acquisitions, his business gradually became the major force it is today. Even though Frank Stronach was part of the labour movement in the 1970's and 80's he is well known for his opposition to trade union representation for his employees.


Politics

He sought the York Simcoe seat in the Canadian House of Commons in 1988 as candidate for the Liberal Party, but was not elected. He is the father of Belinda Stronach, the Liberal MP for Newmarket-Aurora.

Magna International has also been noted also for its connections to the Ontario PC Party and the Ontario Liberal Party,

In 2003 the Progressive Conservative under Ernie Eves presented the provincial budget at a Magna plant leading to accusations that the government was violating centuries of parliamentary tradition. It is believed that this decision had a negative impact on the Progressive Conservatives in the next provincial election.

Also a major figure in Austria, Frank Stronach has been noted for his support for several members of Jörg Haider's Austrian Freedom Party.

In 1999 he was made a member of the Order of Canada.


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