Hans Rausing, Swedish Tetra Pak Carton Billionaire, Dies at 93

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(Bloomberg) -- Hans Rausing, the Swedish billionaire who oversaw the growth of Tetra Pak Group into the world’s largest food-packaging company, has died. He was 93.

He died Friday in his sleep at his home, according to a statement from his family. He lived on a 900-acre East Sussex estate in England.

Rausing, whose father founded Tetra Pak in 1951, headed the closely held carton maker with elder brother Gad until 1993, the same year it was renamed Tetra Laval Group after acquiring food-equipment supplier Alfa Laval. Originally based in Lund, Sweden, the manufacturer of containers for milk, cream and juices sold materials and machinery to clients who would then package liquids themselves.

Hans Rausing, Swedish Tetra Pak Carton Billionaire, Dies at 93

In 1995, Rausing sold his 50% stake in the business to his brother for $7 billion. The company has been based in Pully, Switzerland, since the 1980s.

Rausing had a net worth of $11.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

‘Best Ever’

“He developed from a young, inexperienced manager to become one of Sweden’s best-ever chief executives by the time he retired,” Peter Andersson, a business journalist and author, said in a telephone interview. “He restructured the company in a very efficient way to focus on fluid containers.”

The company sold equipment and materials used to assemble billions of packages a year. Its tetrahedron-shaped cartons -- from which the company’s name was derived -- are sold in more than 160 countries and generated revenue of 13.6 billion euros ($14.9 billion) in 2018.

As part of the sale agreement, Rausing had agreed not to compete with his brother’s company for five years. Once this expired in 2001, he took a controlling stake in EcoLean AB, a lightweight packaging company based in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Early Years

Hans Anders Rausing was born on March 25, 1926, in Sweden. He was the son of Rubens Rausing, the Tetra Pak founder, and Elisabeth Varenius, a teacher. Rausing graduated from Lund University after studying economics, statistics and Russian. He joined the family company and became managing director in 1954. Gad, who died in 2000, was his deputy.

Rausing moved to the U.K. in 1982 for tax reasons. After his retirement, he spent his time at Wadhurst Park, his Sussex estate, where he raised deer and collected vintage cars.

With wife Marit, he had three children: Lisbet, Sigrid and Hans Kristian.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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