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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 13:08 GMT
Farewell Mr Heineken
Freddy Heineken
Freddy Heineken: "I don't sell beer, I sell warmth"
Freddy Heineken, the man seen by many as responsible for the beer's global success, has died at the age of 78.

Alfred Henry Heineken had been closely involved in the family brewing business since the age of 18.

The richest man in the Netherlands designed the famous green bottle and the logo with the red star and the black banner bearing the brand name.

Famed for his flair for marketing and advertising, he once said: "Had I not been a beer brewer, I would have become an advertising man."

Heineken bottle
One of the world's most famous brands
His motto was said to be: "I don't sell beer, I sell warmth."

Flamboyance

He enjoyed a reputation as one of the Netherlands' most flamboyant entrepreneurs.

Not all his ideas were resounding successes.

He developed a square beer bottle that he believed could be used as a brick to help solve environmental pollution and housing shortages in developing countries.

Heineken management disagreed, rejecting the "World Beer" bottle.

His championing of arts and music - combined with his love of fast cars and private planes - gained him a reputation as one of the Netherlands's most flamboyant entrepreneurs.

However, he cut down on his public appearances, following an abduction for ransom in 1983. He was released unharmed after three weeks.

His father lost the controlling interest in the company in 1942, but Freddy subsequently regained the majority shareholding.

He was the company's chief executive between 1971 and 1989. Later, he became president of the supervisory board.

His daughter Charlene will take over the family's controlling interest.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Vanessa Heaney
"It was Freddy who was responsible for much of its present day success"
See also:

24 Dec 01 | Business
Carling sold to US brewer
05 Dec 01 | Business
Nigerian rival to South African beer
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