Chaleo, developer of Red Bull, dies

March 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

BANGKOK, March 17 (UPI) -- Chaleo Yoovidhya, the Thai entrepreneur who became a billionaire by developing the energy drink Red Bull, died Saturday, the Bangkok Post reported.

Chaleo's company, T.C. Pharmaceuticals, began producing Krathing Daeng in the 1970s, the product that was discovered in 1982 by Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian who was working for a consumer goods company.

Mateschitz collaborated with Chaleo and his son Chalerm to introduce the drink to a global audience. Red Bull was launched in 1984 and is now sold in 160 countries with annual sales of $5 billion, the Post said.

Chaleo was listed by Forbes magazine as the third-wealthiest man in Thailand and the 205th wealthiest man in the world.

Chaleo had controlling interest in the Piyavate Hospital chain and the Siam Winery, the Post said.

Chaleo was 80 and died of natural causes, the newspaper said.

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