Adolf Merckle, a German billionaire businessman whose investments ranged from pharmaceuticals to cement, committed suicide in the wake of heavy losses during the current global financial crisis.

Merckle's body was found Monday night on a railway track in the Southwest of Germany. Later his family issued a statement saying he took his own life.

An anonymous person involved in the investigations of the incident said Merckle left a suicide note, the Associated Press reported.

The distress to his firms caused by the financial crisis and the related uncertainties of recent weeks, along with the helplessness of no longer being able to act, broke the passionate family businessman, and he ended his life, the family's statement said, according to the source.

Merckle, 74 had a wealth estimated in $9.2 billion according to Forbes in 2008. His family controls cement maker HeidelbergCement AG, generic drug maker Ratiopharm GmbH and pharmaceutical Phoenix Pharmahandel AG. He also had a stake in holding company VEM Vermoegensverwaltung which had big losses linked to shares of automaker Volkswagen, reports showed.