Red Bull tycoon Chaleo dies
- Published: 17/03/2012 at 01:12 PM
- Online news:
Chaleo Yoovidhya, whose local energy drink became the global sensation Red Bull and made him one of Thailand's richest men, died on Saturday at age 80.
Chaleo passed away of natural causes at Chulalongkorn Hospital, reports said.
Born in 1932 to a Chinese migrant family in Phichit, Chaleo in 1962 founded T.C. Pharmaceuticals, which developed the energy drink Krathing Daeng in the 1970s. The product became highly popular among local truck drivers and labourers needing a pick-me-up.
Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz, who was working for a European consumer goods company, discovered Krating Daeng while on a sales trip to Asia in 1982. He later approached Chaleo and his son Chalerm about marketing the drink worldwide by forming a new business, which became Red Bull in 1984.
Today Red Bull is sold in 160 countries and has annual sales of about $5 billion. The Yoovidhya family owns 51% of the global company and Mr Mateschitz 49%.
Forbes magazine this year ranked Chaleo as the third wealthiest person in Thailand and 205th in the world with an estimated net worth of US$5 billion.
Chaleo also owned 60% of the Piyavate Hospital chain, as well as one of Asia's leading wine producers, Siam Winery, whose labels include Monsoon Valley and Sabai, a herb and wine drink.
Religious rites for Chaleo will be held at Wat Kreuwal Voraviharn from tomorrow to March 24.
About the author
- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters