Tetra Pak billionaire Hans Rausing dies at 93

Hans RausingImage copyright Rausing family

Hans Rausing, the Swedish billionaire who helped build Tetra Pak into a global giant, has died aged 93.

He ran the cardboard packaging firm from 1950 until 1995 when he sold his share in the business to his brother.

The family’s fortune, estimated by Forbes at $12bn (£9.8bn), has supported philanthropic causes in recent years.

However Mr Rausing’s family was hit by scandal in 2012 when his son was given a suspended prison sentence for failing to report the death of his wife.

Hans Rausing’s father Ruben founded packaging giant Tetra Pak, later Tetra Laval, in 1944. The original design for the innovative cardboard packaging was a tetrahedron. However the firm’s fortunes really took off in the late 1960s under the leadership of Hans and his brother Gad.

The invention of the now more common cube-shaped cartons and aseptic technology to preserve the contents, helped Tetra Pak replace heavier, breakable glass bottles in a growing number of markets.

In the 1980s the Rausing brothers moved to the UK in order to avoid the higher rate of tax in their home country and Hans Rausing shot to the top of the UK’s richlist.

After he left the family firm, in 1995 Mr Rausing, who lived in Wadhurst, East Sussex, devoted part of his time to philanthropy. More than £1bn was given to causes including innovation and research in medicine, human rights, culture and the environment, his family said.

In 2006 he was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for his philanthropic activities.

His three children said in a joint statement: “Our father was an extraordinary man, achieving so many things in his long and distinguished career as entrepreneur and industrialist, and then as a philanthropist supporting multiple charities and foundations.

“We are very proud of that, but most of all we will cherish our fond memories of him as a loving father and devoted family man.”

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