(Yicai Global) July 28 -- Lee Man Tat, the billionaire chairman of famous sauce maker Lee Kum Kee Group and nicknamed the ‘King of Oyster Sauce,’ has died at the age of 91.
Lee died on July 26, the Hong Kong-based company announced on its website yesterday. He was worth USD17.4 billion, according to Forbes, which placed Lee sixth on its list of Hong Kong’s 50 richest people.
“Lee was an inspirational leader, with a unique and forward-looking vision,” the firm said. “He constantly brought new insight and momentum to the Group and successfully transformed Lee Kum Kee into a world-renowned sauce and condiment brand.”
Lee became the family firm’s third-generation chairman after taking over from his father in 1972. His grandfather founded Lee Kum Kee in 1888. In his almost five decades at the helm, Lee pushed into the Chinese mainland and US markets to make Lee Kum Kee a globally recognized sauce brand. The firm employs 6,000 people in China, the United States and Malaysia.
In 1992, Lee Kum Kee set up Infinitus, a health products company, which gradually developed into LKK Health Products Group. Lee’s sons Charlie Lee and Sammy Lee will take over Lee Kum Kee’s sauce and healthcare businesses, respectively.
Lee Kum Kee never went public or disclosed financial data, as Lee insisted that it should remain a family-owned business.
“He will always be deeply remembered by everyone for his legacy in constant entrepreneurship and perseverance to defy any limitations,” the company’s statement added.
Editor: Futura Costaglione