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The Thai tycoon who lays claim to the Chinese rights to Red Bull has restated his ownership amid reports of new contract talks.

Chanchai Ruayrungruang, also known as Yan Bin, told the Financial Times he is the rightful owner of the Red Bull business in China. The FT, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that Chanchai is currently battling with Red Bull owner TC Pharmaceuticals over the energy drink's Chinese rights after a 20-year contract expired last year.

Speaking to the FT, Chanchai said he is "confident and relaxed" about the negotiations.

"I personally invested all the money in advertising and factories," he said. "That's what I care about the most, and that's why everyone in China says that Red Bull belongs to Yan Bin."

TC Pharma, meanwhile, told the FT that it is the owner of the Red Bull trademarks in China.

"He [Chanchai] has no rights, including ownership rights, to Red Bull's wide array of intellectual property rights including all trademarks in China or in any other country," the company said.

According to the FT, Chanchai acquired Red Bull's production and distribution rights in China through a JV with members of the Yoovidhya family, which controls TC Pharmaceuticals. 

TC Pharmaceuticals owns the global rights to Red Bull, which was invented by Chaleo Yoovidhya in 1975. The brand began its global expansion after TC established an Austria-based joint venture, Red Bull GmbH, with Dietrich Mateschitz.

Chanchai has interests outside of energy drinks. In 2014, his company, the Beijing-based Reignwood Group, bought a 25% stake in Vita Coco owner All Market. Last year, Reignwood acquired a controlling stake in Voss Water.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Red Bull

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