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Top 40 Richest People In Thailand, June 2011

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#1 Chaleo Yoovidhya – $3.5 billion
Apparently retired, has 49% stake in $3.5 billion (sales) Red Bull, energy drink juggernaut he helped create; sales up 23% last year.

#2 Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi – $3.3 billion
Son of street vendor made fortune in alcohol. His Chang Beer is nation’s top seller. Took his Thai Bev public in Singapore last year after protests at home; reportedly wants to try again in Thailand. Shipped its first cases to U.S. in May.

#3 Dhanin Chearavanont & family – $2.8 billion
Youngest of 4 brothers turned Charoen Pokphand Group into one of world’s biggest suppliers of animal feed. Branched into retail, telecom. Bankrolls cockfighting arena; chickens wear protective gloves.

#4 Vichai Maleenont & family – $760 million
Heads media group BEC World, which he cofounded 37 years ago, with 23 subsidiaries, 6 associate companies. Transferred shares to his children; 6 work for group, including Vice Chairman Prasan. Son Pracha was Minister of Tourism & Sport until coup.

#5 Somporn Juangroongruangkit & family – $640 million
President of Thai Summit, network of more than a dozen auto parts companies. Took reins in 2002 after husband’s death. Reportedly planned to list some groups this year but pulled out.

#6 Prayudh Mahagitsiri & family – $525 million
Former deputy chief of Thaksin’s political party. Oversees family’s holdings, including stainless steel maker Thainox, instant coffee joint venture with Nestle. Transferred shares to wife, Suvimol, Thainox’s vice chairman; son Chalermchai, a TV actor and model. Late father reportedly pioneered Thailand’s tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws).

#7 Sunsurn Jurangkool & family – $480 million
Heads auto parts maker Summit Group. Not to be confused with Thai Summit, another auto parts outfit run by deceased brother’s widow (No. 5). Also heads publicly traded Thai Steel Cable.

#8 Vanich Chaiyawan & family – $465 million
Sold cigarettes on street at age 14; later traded rice. Bought an insurance company in 1960s. With a partner bought controlling stake in Thai Life Insurance 1970. Remains chairman; son Chai is president. Has joint venture with Heineken.

#9 Sasithorn Ratanarak & family – $450 million
Widow of the late Chuan Ratanarak, who founded Bank of Ayudhya and Siam City Cement and used his connections to secure operating license for privately held Bangkok Broadcasting & TV (BBTV) from Thai military. Son Krit recently orchestrated deal in which GE Money bought 25% of bank, and he stepped down as chairman.

#10 William Heinecke
Came to Thailand from U.S. as a child; started Minor Corp. when he was under 18, hence its name. Became Thai citizen 1992. Now markets such brands as Esprit, Timberland, Tumi in Thailand. Controls Minor International, which runs 600 restaurants, 15 hotels, including Four Seasons, Marriott. Wrote book on entrepreneurship.

#11 Anant Asavabhokin $370 million
#12 Nishita Shah $350 million
#13 Wanida Chirathivat & family $310 million
#14 Thaksin Shinawatra $300 million
#15 Praneetsilpa Vacharaphol $280 million
#16 Thongma Vijitpongpun $250 million
#17 Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth $240 million
#18 Niti Osathanugrah $220 million
#19 Yinglak Vacharaphol $220 million
#20 Saravut Vacharaphol $210 million
#21 Vichai Raksriaksorn $210 million
#22 Vicha Poolvaraluck $200 million
#23 Boonchai Bencharongkul $200 million
#24 Surat Osathanugrah & family $180 million
#25 Vanchai Chirathivat & family $180 million
#26 Premchai Karnasuta $170 million
#27 Vikrom Kromadit $170 million
#28 Anek Sithiprasasana $170 million
#29 Chamnong Bhirombhakdi & family $160 million
#30 Wit Viriyaprapaikit & family $160 million
#31 Kraisorn Chansiri & family $160 million
#32 Surang Prempree $150 million
#33 Chalerm Yoovidhya $150 million
#34 Nijaporn Charanachitta $150 million
#35 Porndee Lee-Issaranukul & family $150 million
#36 Suthichai Chirathivat $140 million
#37 Suthikiati Chirathivat $140 million
#38 Nantha Chinthammit & family $140 million
#39 Suchitra Mongkolkiti $110 million
#40 Kamol Vongkusolkit $110 million

#2 Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi – $3.3 billion
Son of street vendor made fortune in alcohol. His Chang Beer is nation’s top seller. Took his Thai Bev public in Singapore last year after protests at home; reportedly wants to try again in Thailand. Shipped its first cases to U.S. in May.

#3 Dhanin Chearavanont & family – $2.8 billion
Youngest of 4 brothers turned Charoen Pokphand Group into one of world’s biggest suppliers of animal feed. Branched into retail, telecom. Bankrolls cockfighting arena; chickens wear protective gloves.

#4 Vichai Maleenont & family – $760 million
Heads media group BEC World, which he cofounded 37 years ago, with 23 subsidiaries, 6 associate companies. Transferred shares to his children; 6 work for group, including Vice Chairman Prasan. Son Pracha was Minister of Tourism & Sport until coup.

#5 Somporn Juangroongruangkit & family – $640 million
President of Thai Summit, network of more than a dozen auto parts companies. Took reins in 2002 after husband’s death. Reportedly planned to list some groups this year but pulled out.

#6 Prayudh Mahagitsiri & family – $525 million
Former deputy chief of Thaksin’s political party. Oversees family’s holdings, including stainless steel maker Thainox, instant coffee joint venture with Nestle. Transferred shares to wife, Suvimol, Thainox’s vice chairman; son Chalermchai, a TV actor and model. Late father reportedly pioneered Thailand’s tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws).

#7 Sunsurn Jurangkool & family – $480 million
Heads auto parts maker Summit Group. Not to be confused with Thai Summit, another auto parts outfit run by deceased brother’s widow (No. 5). Also heads publicly traded Thai Steel Cable.

#8 Vanich Chaiyawan & family – $465 million
Sold cigarettes on street at age 14; later traded rice. Bought an insurance company in 1960s. With a partner bought controlling stake in Thai Life Insurance 1970. Remains chairman; son Chai is president. Has joint venture with Heineken.

#9 Sasithorn Ratanarak & family – $450 million
Widow of the late Chuan Ratanarak, who founded Bank of Ayudhya and Siam City Cement and used his connections to secure operating license for privately held Bangkok Broadcasting & TV (BBTV) from Thai military. Son Krit recently orchestrated deal in which GE Money bought 25% of bank, and he stepped down as chairman.

#10 William Heinecke
Came to Thailand from U.S. as a child; started Minor Corp. when he was under 18, hence its name. Became Thai citizen 1992. Now markets such brands as Esprit, Timberland, Tumi in Thailand. Controls Minor International, which runs 600 restaurants, 15 hotels, including Four Seasons, Marriott. Wrote book on entrepreneurship.

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