Who Controls Red Bull Following Owner Dietrich Mateschitz's Passing?

Rachel Curry - Author
By

Oct. 24 2022, Published 12:32 p.m. ET

The co-founder of the energy drink company Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, has died at the age of 78.

The Austrian businessman managed to amass a billion-dollar net worth during his lifetime, and the company will be part of his legacy.

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With Red Bull selling an estimated 7.9 billion cans in 2020 and even more in the years since then, Mateschitz's estate and the company he’s leaving behind need to be in good hands considering their massive wealth.

So, who owns Red Bull now? Mateschitz put everything into place before his death.

What was Dietrich Mateschitz’s cause of death and who owns Red Bull now?

Austrian billionaire Mateschitz, who also owned the Red Bull Formula One racing team, died on Saturday, Oct. 22. He is said to have died from complications with pancreatic cancer, which he battled for years.

However, no official cause of death has been released. Pancreatic cancer is said to have a five-year survival rate of 14 percent–42 percent, depending on the stage the cancer is in upon detection and treatment.

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Mateschitz was Austria’s richest man with a net worth of $27.4 billion at the time of his death, according to Forbes. He was said to have a good character.

Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Formula One Racing Group, said about Mateschitz, “He was an incredible visionary entrepreneur and a man who helped transform our sport.”

Race car driver Max Verstappen said, “I will remember him as a man of gentle character who took care of people with extreme love. He didn't seek the limelight.”

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There are some questions about Red Bull ownership.

Mateschitz co-founded Red Bull with Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya in 1984. Yoovidhya made the product first under the name Krating Daeng, which translates from Thai to “Red Bull.”

Each partner made an initial investment of $500,000 into the company. With that investment, each of them received a 49-percent stake in the company. The remaining 2 percent went to Chalerm Yoovidhya, son of Chaleo Yoovidhya.

Chaleo Yoovidhya died in 2012 and his son took over his share, giving Chalerm Yoovidhya a majority 51-percent stake. With Mateschitz gone, the estate of Dietrich Mateschitz could take over his 49-percent share.

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His son, Mark Gerhardter, would likely be the one to take over the estate. However, because Yoovidhya maintains a majority stake, any Mateschitz heir could see reduced ownership in the long run.

The living Yoovidhya is now 72 years old while Gerhardter is 29 years old — a big gap that could potentially grant preference to the elder leader.

Dietrich Mateschitz’s son is already involved in the company.

Gerhardter has reportedly been seen attending events and tackling business dealings alongside his father for a while now, including business expansion in Mateschitz’s home country Austria.

Much of Red Bull’s success is thanks to Mateschitz. As long as the company is able to maintain this gusto, its ongoing ownership shouldn’t stall the growth of the most popular energy drink in the world.

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