Heineken magnate dies at 78

Heineken spent many holidays in St Moritz Keystone

The Dutch beer magnate, Freddy Heineken, who had both business and private ties with Switzerland, has died. He was 78.

This content was published on January 4, 2002 minutes

Born in Amsterdam in 1923, Heineken transformed the family business founded by his grandfather in 1864 into one of the largest breweries in the world.

He subsequently stepped down as head of the group, becoming president of Heineken Holding.


After being kidnapped in 1983, Heineken made only rare public appearances. The ransom paid to free him from his three-week ordeal was estimated at 35 million florins.

Heineken fostered business links with Switzerland, buying the majority of the capital of Calanda Haldengut in 1994. The brewery, based in Winterthur and Chur, is number two in the country.

A Swiss production site for Heineken opened in 1998.

The Heineken family owned a holiday home in St. Moritz, which Freddy visited on many occasions.

The brewery posted sales revenue figures of SFr6.57 billion for the first six months of 2001.

Heineken, who died after developing a brain tumour, has been succeeded in the business by his daughter, Charlene de Carvalho.

swissinfo with agencies

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?