Thai billionaire who created Red Bull dies at 89

AP News

3/17/2012 5:06:26 AM - AP News

State media in Thailand say the self-made Thai billionaire who created the renowned Red Bull energy drink three decades ago has died. He was 89.

Thai state television broadcaster MCOT says that Chaleo Yoovidhya died of natural causes on Saturday. It cited an executive at the Thai Beverage Industry Association.

Chaleo founded T.C. Pharmaceuticals. In the 1970s, it formulated an energy drink prototype called Krathing Daeng, or Red Bull in English. It was popular among Thai truck drivers and laborers.

Chaleo then co-founded a company in 1984 with an Austrian partner who helped turn Red Bull into a global brand.

Forbes magazine has ranked Chaleo among the richest men in the world. His assets are estimated to be worth several billion dollars.