TWO Filipino tycoons, founders of separate business empires that employ thousands of people, died within hours of each other, their companies announced on Friday.
First to go was Filipino-Chinese tycoon Andrew S. Gotianun Sr., founder of Filinvest Development Corp., who died on Thursday at the age of 88, followed by former ambassador Antonio Cabangon-Chua who passed away Friday at the age of 81.
Gotianun was the 18th richest man in the country, according to Forbes magazine, with an estimated net worth of over $910 million by the end of 2015 and has interests in real estate development, sugar, hospitality, power generation and banking.
Gotianun left behind his wife, Mercedes, and their four children, Josephine, Andrew Jr. Jonathan and Michael.
He started the business 60 years ago with wife Mercedes and eight employees, offering appliances and financing for second-hand cars. Today, Filinvest Development Corp. is one of the country’s largest listed conglomerates.
Its subsidiaries include Filinvest Land Inc., Filinvest Alabang Inc., EastWest Bank, FDC Utilities Inc., Chroma Hospitality and Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp. Gotianun’s daughter Josephine runs it all.
Cabangon’s death, on the other hand, was announced by D. Edgard Cabangon who asked his friends on social media for prayers for his father who died of a lingering illness on Friday.
Before he was named ambassador to Laos by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Cabangon established and thrived a business empire that now includes Fortune Life Insurance Co. Inc., Eternal Plans Inc., Isuzu GenCars Inc., Citystate Savings Bank and Citystate Properties and Management Corp.
He was also a media mogul and owned Aliw Broadcasting Corporation, Philippine Graphic Weekly, Business Mirror, View, Cook, Pilipino Mirror and Salamin ng Katotohanan and a number of other publications.
Cabangon Chua also led Nine Media Corporation, which is the local partner of the US firm Turner Broadcasting System which formed CNN Philippines.