Red Bull co-founder passes away after long illness

Co-founder of Red Bull energy drinks, Dietrich Mateschitz, died this past Saturday (22 October) at the age of 78, after a long-term illness.

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Austrian Mateschitz founded the company in 1987 with Thai national, Chaleo Yoovidhya. The company quickly became and remained the leader in the energy-drinks market.

Red Bull became associated with extreme sports owing to its sponsorship of, among other sports, big wave surfing, cliff diving, mountain biking and trail ultra-running.

But one of the brand’s biggest success stories remains its venture into Formula 1 when it bought the then-Jaguar team in 2004. Over two decades, the team was built into a champion team with Sebastian Vettel at the steering wheel.

On local soil, Red Bull has been a sponsor of motorsport champions such as Giniel de Villiers, a Dakar champion.

Last October Mateschitz’s net worth was valued at around $25 billion.

Red Bull currently employs 13 000 people in 172 countries and sells and estimated 10 billion cans of the energy drink annually.

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