Lucio Tan (simplified Chinese: 陈永栽; traditional Chinese: 陳永栽; pinyin: Chén Yǒngzāi), born on July 17, 1934, is a Filipino-Chinese businessman and philanthropist. He is listed by Forbes as the second richest Filipino with a networth of USD2.1 billion. He is given the nickname “El Kapitan”.
Tan was born to parents Tan Chua King and Tan Yan Kee on July 17, 1934, in Amoy, Fujian, Republic of China. When he was only four years old, Tan’s parents moved to the Philippines with him as part of the great migration of the Chinese in the 19th century. Tan finished his secondary education at Chang Kai Shek College and went on to take up chemical engineering at Far Eastern University. He financed his college education by working for Bataan Cigar and Cigarette Company.
Tan later on tried his hands in business. He established an electronic shop and corn starch factory but both businesses failed. Undeterred, he established the Himmel Industries Inc. and this was Tan’s first taste of success.
In 1966, at age 32, Tan founded Fortune Tobacco, the largest cigarette-manufacturing company in the Philippines. The company’s first location was in a small hut in Marikina and would later on become its flagship company.
In 1970, Tan set-up the Formosa Farms in Tanay Rizal.
In 1977, Tan acquired the defunct General Bank from the government and renamed it Allied Bank. He currently has 75 percent stake in the company.
In 1978, Tan ventured into building and construction when he bought the Riverside Steel Inc. and renamed it Grandspan Development Corporation.
In 1982, after former President Ferdinand Marcos lifted the ban on establishing new beer companies, Tan established Asia Brewery, the second largest beer producer and bottled water in the Philippines and proved to be a competition for San Miguel Brewery.
In 1985, Tan joined the hotel industry by acquiring Century Park Hotel.
In 1988, Tan acquired Tanduay Distillers from the Elizalde family and after modernizing the plant facility, production went up 50 times.
In 1990, Tan bought the University of the East.
In 1993, Tan became the owner of Philippine Airlines after its firm, PR Holdings bought 67 percent share from the government. Tan became its chairman and chief executive officer in 1995 but turned the Chief Executive position to Luis Virata (38th richest Filipino) In the same year, Tan founded Macro Asia Corporation, a leader in aviation and logistics services by providing ground handling, repairs and catering services.
In 2000, the Lucio Tan Group became the single biggest shareholder of publicly-listed Philippine National Bank after the government decided to privatize it in 1989. He currently owns 67 percent share. The merger of Allied Bank and PNB is expected to be completed before the year ends.
In 2007, Tan formed Eton Properties through a backdoor listing of Balabac Resources and Holding Corporation. The Eton property group, however, has been managed by the Lucio Tan Group since the 1980s in Hong Kong and later on, in Mainland China. Books
In April 2002, Tan co-authored a philosophy book with a retired Xiamen University Professor Huang Ping Hui entitled, Annotations of Lao Tze’s Philosophical Concepts. The launching took place in Shanghai, China. In the same year, Xinhua News Agency published a grand picture book for Tan.
In 2009, Isagani Cruz wrote a biography of Lucio Tan entitled, Lucio C. Tan: A Gem of a Man.
Unknown to many, Tan has earned numerous scholastic achievements. Among them are:
- Doctor of Applied Agriculture (Honoris Causa), Central Luzon State University
- Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa), University of Guam
- Doctor of Technology Management (Honoris Causa) Western Visayas College of Science and Technology
- Doctor of Science in International Business and Entrepreneur Ship (Honoris Causa), Cavite" State University
- Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) Western Mindanao State University
- Doctor of Business Management (Honoris Causa), St. Paul Philippines, Tugegarao Cagayan.
- Doctor of Philosophy, Major in Commerce, University of Sto. Tomas.
Although a capitalist, Lucio Tan has also dedicated himself in giving back to the society. His philanthropy benefitted both the Philippines and China.
In the early 1980, he sponsored the “International Overseas Book Contribution”. The project yielded 9,000,000 books for 40,000 schools in the Philippines. Four years later, he sponsored the “Level Advancing Foundation” and established the “Asia Brewery Scholar Award”.
In 1987, Tan established the Tan Yan Kee foundation after his father’s name. The foundation has donated hundreds of millions of pesos in church and school construction, scholarships assistance, health and social welfare projects, calamity assistance, livelihood program, environment protection, sports development and anti-drug campaign.
In 1990, he sponsored a USD 2,000,000 (P88,000,000) scholarship award for University of the East students. He also advocated Project on Rural School Building when he was the Filipino-Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and he also sponsored “Voice of Youth”, a nationwide competition of English in the Philippines.
In 1998, Tan contributed RMB100 million (P600 million) for various causes including the Asian Games in Beijing, fire disaster in Great Xing’an Mountains, flood campaing, SARS fighting and the construction of the Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Tan was also the first overseas donor to the Disabled Living Foundation of China and China’s Disabled Person Federation. Cumulative donations have already amounted to RMB 30 million (P180 million).
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