Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Rausing dead at 93

Swedish businessman Hans Rausing, credited with turning food packaging company Tetra Pak into a global giant, has died in England aged 93, his family said.

Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Rausing dead at 93
Hans Rausing inherited Tetra Pak from his father Ruben Rausing. Photo: Peter Lyden
“Hans Rausing had exceptional drive, and right to the end a commitment to entrepreneurship in Sweden and around the world,” they wrote in a statement. He died on Friday.
His father, Ruben Rausing, co-founded a company in southern Sweden that was an early innovator in food packaging, seeking to move away from bulk sales of foods such as flour and sugar to consumers.
Ruben Rausing developed the first cardboard container in the shape of a tetrahedron — a shape made of four triangular sides, also known as a triangular pyramid. It is the shape that gave the company its name.
The new packaging was most notably used to sell milk, replacing glass bottles in a pre-plastic revolution for beverage packaging.
Born in 1926, Hans Rausing was appointed managing director of Tetra Pak International in 1954, and with his brother Gad led the company for four decades. 
He retired as president in 1993, having grown the company from seven employees to 36,000 and giving it a global presence.
Under the brothers' leadership, Tetra Pak continued to develop new packaging, creating sterile materials and new shapes, and designed machines for the ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurisation of milk.
In 1991, Tetra Pak acquired Alfa Laval, a leading supplier of equipment for the agricultural industry, and the group became known as Tetra Laval. 
Rausing, who left Sweden for the United Kingdom in the 1980s for tax reasons, is estimated to have amassed a fortune of some $12 billion (11 billion euros), according to Forbes magazine.
Tragedy struck the family in 2012, when the businessman's daughter-in-law Eva died from a drug overdose aged 48. 
Her rotting corpse was found more than two months after her death under a pile of bedding in a room in the London home she shared with Rausing's son, Hans Kristian.  
He pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of his wife, and received a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years.
He said he could not deal with her death. The couple had met at a drug addiction clinic.

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Tetra Pak probed by China for ‘market abuse’

China is investigating global packaging giant Tetra Pak for "abusing" its dominant market role, an official said Friday, the latest in a series of probes aimed at foreign companies.

The head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce gave no

specific details of the inquiry, but said it covered 20 provinces and cities.

“The administration has filed a case against Tetra Pak on suspicion of

abusing its market controlling position,” Zhang Mao was quoted as saying at a

meeting, according to a transcript posted online.

Tetra Pak China, whose parent is headquartered in Switzerland, confirmed a

request for information by the government and said it was cooperating. A spokesman for the firm declined to comment further.

Tetra Pak has more than 23,000 employees and its packages are available in

170 countries. It is part of the private Tetra Laval group, which is owned by the Swedish Rausing family.

According to Forbes’ latest billionaires list, four members of the family are among Sweden’s six richest people. Several of them live in Britain.

News of the investigation came after state media said earlier this week that another Chinese government agency has launched an “anti-monopoly” investigation into several foreign baby formula makers over high prices.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner, is targeting Nestle unit Wyeth Nutrition, France’s Danone, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Abbott Laboratories and Dutch firm Royal FrieslandCampina.

Chinese consumers prefer foreign brand dairy products following a 2008 scandal in which tainted baby formula killed six children and sickened more than 300,000.

The NDRC also said this week it would investigate 60 pharmaceutical companies over their pricing, including several joint ventures with foreign firms, among them Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline.

Tetra Pak’s products include packaging for milk. The company has supplied Chinese dairy giant Mengniu and participated in a programme to boost sustainable dairy farming in China, company statements showed.

Tetra Pak entered the China market in 1972, according to its website. It

has a research centre in Shanghai and packaging material plants in several

Chinese cities.

AFP/The Local/pr

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