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Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their mansion basement

17 December 2017, 01:42 | Gordon Grant

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For The Globe and Mail

Pharmaceutical billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife were found dead at their home, police and his company said, in what was reportedly being investigated as a possible murder-suicide. Police have described the deaths as suspicious, but offered no other details to date.

Mr Sherman had set up the pharmaceutical company Apotex in 1974, stepping down as chief executive in 2012 but remaining executive chairman.

Apotex released the following statement on Sherman's death: "All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time".

On Twitter, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his condolences to the family and was very touched by the couple's vision and spirit.

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

Police say they responded to a call at midday at the home of the Sherman in an affluent area of Toronto.

"The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way", said police Constable David Hopkinson.

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

'Toronto Police are investigating, and I hope that investigation will be able to provide answers for all of us who are mourning this tremendous loss, ' Tory said. (9NEWS) Post-mortem examinations will be conducted on Barry and Honey Sherman.

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If the autopsies indicate that a homicide has occurred, the police's homicide squad will take over the investigation and detectives will talk to family members before they update the public, he said.

Eric Hoskins, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care said he was saddened "beyond words". Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in healthcare. The couple were found in their home, which was up for sale.

The couple leave behind four children. A very, very sad day.

And the Shermans were generous with their largesse, doling out tens of millions of dollars to universities, hospitals and the United Jewish Appeal, according to the Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper.

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

"Patients around the world live healthier and more fulfilled lives thanks to his life's work, and his significant impact on healthcare and healthcare sustainability will have an enduring impact for many years to come", the company said.

Honey, who also graduated from the University of Toronto, was a member of the board of the Baycrest Foundation and the York University Foundation.

The couple were well known philanthropists and active on the political scene.

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