Australian media magnate Kerry Packer has died at his home in Sydney at the age of 68.

The brash billionaire founder of Publishing & Broadcasting, which owns the Nine Network television company and the Australian Consolidated Press, had been suffering from ill-health for some time and in 2000 underwent a kidney transplant operation.

A statement from his family said: "He died peacefully at home with his family at his bedside." He is survived by his wife, Roslyn and children Gretel and James, who is executive chairman of PBL.

Born in Sydney in 1937, and educated at one of the city's top private boarding schools, Packer learned much of his business and media acumen from his media tycoon father, Sir Frank.

Following his father's death in 1974, Packer took over the family business and in the next decade expanded the private family company Consolidated Press Holdings.

In 1994, Packer merged Consolidated Press and his network television holdings to form the listed PBL. Forbes magazine valued him at $5 billion (€4.21bn; £2.88bn) this year and he was believed to be Australia's richest man.

Media rival and fellow Australian Rupert Murdoch, chairman/ceo of News Corporation, said: "He was the most successful businessman of our generation. As a broadcaster, he had an uncanny knack of knowing what people across the country were thinking and these finely-tuned antennae made him the best broadcaster the country has seen. Australia will not be the same without him."

Data sourced from BBC Online and; additional content by WARC staff