Canadian billionaire, wife found dead at their home

For The Globe and Mail

Apotex, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, has confirmed that its founder Barry Sherman and his wife Honey Sherman are dead.

Police have said the circumstances of the deaths "appear suspicious".

The company - Sherman started it in 1974 after using his mother's life savings to buy out a similar business started by his uncle - manufactures and exports generic drugs to more than 115 countries.

Calling the deaths "tragic", Apotex tweeted to say everyone at the company, which employs around 16,000 staff worldwide, was "deeply shocked and saddened".

The Shermans' sudden death brought swift condolences from the highest rungs of Canadian society and government, including from the organizations they had spent years supporting and from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Forbes magazine puts Mr Sherman's personal net worth at $3.2bn (£2.4bn).

Const. David Hopkinson said emergency crews were dispatched out as a medical call initially to the Sherman home, located on Old Colony Road near Bayview Avenue and Highway 401, just before 11:45 a.m. Friday.

The Shermans recently listed their home for sale for almost 7 million Canadian dollars, about $5.4 million.

"Police are investigating, and I hope that investigation will be able to provide answers for all of us who are mourning this tremendous loss", he said.

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The paper also said that the bodies were "found hanging side by side next to their indoor pool", something that other Canadian outlets later repeated, citing police sources.

Outside of the pharmaceutical business, the Shermans were also known for their philanthropy. The couple were found in their home, which was up for sale. Sherman and his wife have four children together. "As employees, we are proud of his tremendous accomplishments, honored to have known him, and vow to carry on with the Apotex objective in his honor".

The Shermans have handed out millions of dollars to hospitals, universities and the United Jewish Appeal.

A University of Toronto website lists the Apotex Foundation and the Shermans as donors in the range of $10 million to $25 million during 1995 and 2003.

In a statement, Mayor Tory said he was "shocked and heartbroken" to learn of the deaths, and noted the couple's generous contributions to the city.

"I am beyond words right now", Ontario's Health Minister Eric Hoskins said on Twitter. (9NEWS) Post-mortem examinations will be conducted on Barry and Honey Sherman.

"Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care", he wrote. A very, very sad day. "Barry, Honey, rest in peace".

Police said later Friday evening that they are not now seeking any suspects but are keeping an open mind on all possibilities.

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