Lucio Tan

Lucio Tan
Lucio Tan
Residence Philippines
Ethnicity Han Chinese
Citizenship Philippines

Lucio Tan (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Chén Yǒngzāi) (born July 17, 1934) is a prominent Chinese Filipino business magnate and is one of the most prominent business magnates in the Philippines. He, as of 2011, is currently the second richest businessman in the country, holding a networth of $2.3 billion.[1]



Tan owns Asia Brewery, the second largest brewery in the Philippines, Tanduay Holdings, one of the world's largest rum makers, Fortune Tobacco, the largest tobacco company in the country, Philippine Airlines the Philippines' flag carrier - just some of the 300 companies that Tan controls. Tan was born on July 17, 1934, in Amoy (now Xiamen), Fujian, Republic of China. His parents moved to the Philippines when he was a child. He studied chemical engineering at Far Eastern University in Manila.[2] He actually quit before graduating to take a job in a tobacco factory. Though a non-smoker, he started a cigarette company called Fortune Tobacco in 1966. This venture, which was housed in a small hut in Marikina, proved to be the enterprise that would catapult Mr. Tan to success. From this flagship company emerged numerous successful ventures in agribusiness; airlines and related services; banking, finance and securities; brewery; chemicals; distillery and alcohol; education; food; hotel; manufacturing; property development; steel fabrication and construction; and tourism and travel services.

Tan has received numerous recognitions and awards both in the Philippines and abroad. He holds a Doctorate Degree in Commerce from the University of Santo Tomas along with a string of honorary doctorate degrees from various institutions of higher learning. Tan established the Tan Yan Kee Foundation in 1986 in honor of his father (see below). The Lucio C. Tan Group of Companies has also supported projects in education, culture and sports; health and social welfare; research; and manpower development.[3]

He was a known ally of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

In 1970, Tan brought to the country an advanced hog-raising facility from Taiwan and set up Foremost Farms in Tanay, Rizal. The farm now operates on a 146-hectare facility and has an average daily production of 50 metric tons of hogs for the domestic market making it one of the largest hog farms in Southeast Asia.

In 1977, Tan acquired from the Philippine government the defunct General Bank and Trust Company, which he renamed Allied Bank.

In 1978, Tan ventured into building and construction when he bought Riverside Steel Inc., which was renamed Grandspan Development Corporation. To date, Grandspan has been involved in the construction of power plants, high rise buildings, bridges, airport terminal and hangars, and other structures.

In 1982, after then President Ferdinand Marcos lifted the ban on the establishment of new beer companies, Tan established Asia Brewery, the second largest brewery in the country, with a 10% share of the Philippine market.

In 1985, Tan bought Century Park Hotel.

Tan established the Tan Yan Kee Foundation in 1986 in honor of the late Tan family patriarch (see below). In 1988, the Lucio Tan Group of Companies acquired Tanduay Distillery, the oldest maker of rum, from the Elizalde Family. Tan and his group launched a plant modernization and expansion program that increased Tanduay's production by almost 50 times.

Tan later bought the University of the East in 1990, which he considers his biggest feat in promoting education in the country.

In 1993, the country's national flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, joined the list of companies that Lucio Tan controls and manages.

In 1995, he founded yet another company in the aviation industry. The Macro Asia Corporation was envisioned to be the leading provider of aviation and logistics services. This vision has become a reality as Macro Asia Corporation is now the provider of technical ground handling, engineering and maintenance services, and catering services to the majority of international airlines.

In 2000, Tan became the majority stockholder of Philippine National Bank. The merger of PNB and Allied Bank is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

List of known companies:

  • Asia Brewery, the 2nd largest brewer in the Philippines, with a 10% share of the Philippine market.
  • Tanduay Holdings, one of the world's largest rum makers.
  • Fortune Tobacco, the largest tobacco company in the country.
  • Philippine Airlines, the Philippines' Number 1 Airline and Aviation Company and Asia's FIRST Airline
  • University of the East one of the most financially stable universities in the Philippines in terms of assets.
  • Philippine National Bank, the 5th largest bank in the country.
  • Allied Bank, the Philippines' 8th largest lender (Merged with Philippine National Bank).
  • Eton Properties Philippines, the global real estate brand of the Lucio Tan Group.
  • Allied Savings Bank, Subsidiary bank of Allied Banking Corporation and one of the most stable savings bank in the Philippines in terms of assets.
  • Lucky Travel Corporation – Established on June 15, 1983, Lucky Travel is Mr. Tan’s first foray into the travel and tourism industry.
  • The Charter House - is a three-star hotel located in the heart of Makati’s business and commercial district.
  • Grandspan Development Corp. – Established in 1979, Grandspan Development Corp. is an internationally-recognized steel fabrication company. It produces structural steel beams, trusses, conveyors, special tanks and vessels, as well as steel trailers and asbestos-reinforced cement sheets.
  • Asia Brewery, Inc., - Established in 1982, Asia Brewery is the second largest brewer and bottled water maker in the Philippines.
  • Foremost Farms Inc. – is one of Southeast Asia’s largest and most modern hog-raising facilities.
  • Himmel Industries Inc. – a chemical trading firm, Himmel Industries is located in Barrio Santolan, Pasig City. Established in November 18, 1960.
  • Pan Asia Securities- is the stock brokerage firm of the Lucio C. Tan Group of Companies.
  • MacroAsia Corporation- Complementing the two airlines is MacroAsia Corporation. A publicly- listed company, MacroAsia provides catering, ground handling and engineering and maintenance services to its sister companies and more than 20 international airlines landing in the Philippines.
  • Air Philippines- is one of the fastest growing carriers in the Philippines.

To date, Lucio Tan's Group of Companies provides jobs to 50,000 people.


According to a January–March 1999 edition of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Solita Monsod, an economics professor at the University of the Philippines and former Economic Planning Secretary, was quoted as saying that "Lucio Tan is a role model for the worst kind of conduct as far as our national objectives are concerned. He signals that you can evade taxes and get away with it, pay the courts and get the judges to decide in your favour, get good lawyers and delay your cases. The messages that are given by the kind of treatment that he gets from the Government are the antithesis of what we need for sustainable development: an even playing field and Government intervention of the right kind." [4]

The Presidential Commission on Good Government ("PCGG") originally filed a case against Tan in July 1987, and has since amended it twice, the last time being on 5 September 1991. According to the PCGG, the state is entitled to PHP 50 billion in damages and PHP 1 billion in legal expenses.[5] In addition, the state was seeking to recover 60% of Tan's holdings in companies that Tan held in trust for the former president Marcos – such as Fortune Tobacco, Asia Brewery, Allied Banking Corp., Foremost Farms, Himmel Industries, Grandspan Development Corp., Silangan Holdings, Dominium Realty and Construction Corp., and Shareholdings Inc. – as the PCGG alleges that they were illegally acquired by Marcos using government funds.[6]

After filing the case in July 1987, the PCGG seized control of Tan’s companies, continuing to do so until 2006 when the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan nullified the writs of sequestration on Allied Banking Corp., Fortune Tobacco, Foremost Farms and Shareholdings Inc. The court ruled the writs had no basis as there was no prima facie proof that any of Tan’s assets were obtained illegally.

The PCGG soon afterwards filed a petition to the Supreme Court. On December 7, 2007, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the anti-graft court. The Supreme Court found no proof that Tan, his family, or his various businesses took undue advantage of their relationship with former President Marcos. Finding no factual basis for the sequestration of the stocks, the Supreme Court denied the PCGG’s petition, according to a court statement.[7]

In a 29 April 2009 letter filed at the anti-graft court, the PCGG announced that it is "resting its case" and terminating its presentation of evidence in the PHP 51 billion lawsuit. This, the report said, came as a surprise as government lawyers had earlier insisted in court that they still have several key witnesses, including former First Lady Imelda Marcos.[8]

Nevertheless, questions remain. During the Estrada presidency, "It came to the point that I was wondering whether they were lawyering for us or for Fortune Tobacco", said former Internal Revenue Commissioner Liwayway Vinzons Chato. Chato was also cited as saying that a folder of documents containing important evidence against Fortune had mysteriously disappeared. Eventually she was able to create a case against Tan, which she lost at the Court of Tax Appeals, as one of BIR's lawyers assigned to the Solicitor General was, according to Chato, "arguing the case for Fortune and we were sold out".[4]

The same article also said that one of the three judges who ruled in favour of Fortune Tobacco was Manuel Gruba, the brother of Lily Gruba, one of Tan's lawyers in the case. It was later rumoured, the article said, that President Estrada allowed Tan to name the new BIR Commissioner to replace Chato. Beethoven Rualo, a close associate of Tan, was eventually chosen for the role. Within five months of Rualo's appointment, two tax evasion charges against Tan's firms that Chato had been pursuing – one against Allied Bank for PHP 338 million, and another against Fortune Tobacco for PHP 8 billion – were reduced to zero and PHP 5 million respectively.

Family Feud

Tan and his brother Mariano Tanenglian have been at odds over a number of on-going personal and business matters, with Tanenglian even offering to be a state witness in the ill-gotten wealth case against Tan in return for immunity from prosecution, an offer rejected by the state.[9] The feud worsened after the police raided Tanenglian's house on 10 August 2009, ostensibly to rescue a house maid that had suffered several years of abuse at the hands of the Tanenglian family.[10]

External links

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