Thai Tycoon, founder of Red Bull dies
BANGKOK, March 17, 2012
Chaleo Yoovidhya, the tycoon who created energy drink Krating Daeng, known worldwide as Red Bull, and the third richest man in Thailand died on Saturday at the age of 89 of natural causes.
According to business magazine Forbes, Chaleo was ranked in March this year as Thailand's third richest man, or 205th in the world, with a fortune estimated at US$5 billion.
Mr Chaleo founded TC Pharmaceuticals and in the 1970s, his firm formulated a non-carbonated energy drink prototype called Krathing Daeng, or Red Bull in English.
Krating Daeng sales soared across Asia in the 1970s and 1980s, especially among truck drivers, construction workers and farmers with the logo of two red bulls charging each other becoming well known.
Chaleo married twice and has 11 children, five from his first wife and six from his second.
Krating Daeng was transformed into a global brand by Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur. Mateschitz visited Thailand in 1982 and cooperated with TC Pharmaceuticals, adapted the formula and composition to western tastes and launched Red Bull GmbH in 1984.
Chaleo and Mateschitz each owned 49 percent of the company, with Chaleo's son Chalerm holding the remaining two percent, but it was agreed that Mateschitz would run the company.
Red Bull is now available in 164 countries worldwide.
Apart from its energy drink business, Red Bull also owns two football teams, Red Bull Salzburg in Austria and the New York Red Bulls in the United States, as well as a Formula One racing team