Longtime chairman of SMC Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco dies aged 85

June 17, 2020 - 12:16 PM
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San Miguel Corporation Chairman Eduardo Cojuangco talks to the media after an annual stockholders meeting in Manila July 24, 2007. Miguel assured investors on Tuesday that food and drink would stay its core business as it invests in power, mining, infrastructure and property to boost stagnant growth. (Reuters/Cheryl Ravelo/File Photo)

MANILA — Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, the chairman and chief executive of Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp, has died at the age of 85, the company said in a statement.

San Miguel, the country’s biggest company by revenue, started as a brewer in 1890 but in recent decades aggressively expanded beyond its staple food and beverage businesses into infrastructure, mining, petroleum and the power sector.

Cojuangco, who died on Tuesday night, was an ally of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and unsuccessfully ran for the presidency in 1992.

Forbes named him as the 16th richest man in the Philippines in 2019 with a net worth of $1.5 billion.

In recent years, Cojuangco was no longer involved in the daily operations of the company and in 2012 sold his stake to San Miguel President Ramon Ang and business allies, but retained the posts of chairman and CEO he had held since 1998.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s office sent its condolences, saying San Miguel provided livelihoods to tens of thousands of Filipinos, while also aiding the government tackle the coronavirus outbreak. —Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales Editing by Ed Davies