Tetra founder calls it a day
Wednesday 23 August 1995
Britain's richest partnership is coming to an end, but for a change this split has nothing to do with the marital problems of the royal family. In fact, despite the fact that the pair in question last year overtook the Queen - with personal wealth now estimated at around pounds 4bn - they shun the limelight and are far better known for what they make than who they are.
Hans Rausing and his brother Gad amassed their fortune through the Tetra Pak Brik carton, a simple invention which has revolutionised the packaging of everything from milk to fabric conditioner. The two Swedes moved to Britain in the 1980s, apparently drawn by the new entrepreneurial spirit being fostered by Mrs Thatcher.
Now Hans, who will turn 70 next year and has been managing director of Tetra for the past 40 years, has decided to bow out along with the rest of his family. In future Gad, along with daughter Kirsten and sons Finn and Jorn, will take full responsibility for the world's largest packaging firm, with sales of about pounds 5.6bn last year.
In a statement from its headquarters in Stockholm, the company said Hans wanted to retire, while his children wanted to pursue their own careers. The two brothers first announced their retirement two years ago. At that stage, they had already been taking a back seat role at the company for some years, leaving day-to-day control in the hands of four managers, including Professor Goran Grosskopf, the first non-Rausing chairman.
He replaced Hans after the takeover of the food processing giant Alfa- Laval led to the creation of the present group in January 1993. The Tetra Laval group now includes Tetra Pak, Tetra Laval Food, Alfa Laval, and Alfa Laval Agri.
The company is controlled through a Liechtenstein foundation and a Dutch holding group, which means they are under no compulsion to publish accounts and makes it difficult to be clear about the extent of the family wealth.
Although Sainsbury and Tesco are switching from the Brik carton for milk in favour of other forms of packaging, new uses - such as laundry liquids - and new customers regularly emerge.
The invention was inspired by the Rausing grandmother's sausage-making activities, which impressed Ruben, their grandfather, by the way meat was squeezed into the skin and pinched at both ends.
The resulting invention, when applied to liquids, eliminated the need for refrigeration - a major step forward for 1952 when the first containers were produced.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Isis in Kobani: US resupplies Kurdish fighters by plane - then Turkey allows reinforcements through its border
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming the street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...