Carlos Ardila Lülle
|Carlos Ardila Lülle|
July 4, 1930|
|Alma mater||National University of Colombia|
|Known for||Postobon soft drink|
Carlos Arturo Ardila Lülle (born July 4, 1930) is a Colombian entrepreneur and the founder and head of the Organización Ardila Lülle, a major Colombian conglomerate which controls companies such as RCN TV, the Postobon soft drink, and the Atlético Nacional football team. His net worth is estimated at over $5.4 billion U.S. dollars.
Carlos Ardila Lülle was born in the city of Bucaramanga, Colombia on July 4, 1930. At fifteen he completed secondary education at the Jesuit run Colegio San Pedro Claver, and moved to Medellín to study civil engineering at the School of Mines at the National University of Colombia, graduating in 1951. He then began work in the soft drink business as a Plant Manager for Gaseosas LUX, entrusted with production and expansion in the city of Cali. While working there he met his wife, Maria Eugenia Gaviria, a daughter of one of the owners of the company, Antonio Gaviria. With her he had two children, Carlos Julio and Antonio Jose. He also has two daughters, Maria Emma and Maria Eugenia.
At Gaseosas LUX, he worked on the development and promotion of new flavors, and in 1954 saw great success in the development of a new soft drink flavored with apples. One of the first in the world with that flavor, it is now marketed as their flagship product, Postobon. Ardila later said he feels a special affection for this achievement as a contribution to the beverage industry. The commercial success with Gaseosas LUX allowed them to gradually acquire shares in the company Postobón, S.A., which made a popular drink, Kola Champaña. After uniting the two companies, Ardila then became president of Postobón, S.A. in 1968.
At this stage he initiated the acquisition of other Colombian soft drink companies over the final decades of the twentieth century, bringing these similar companies under the same management at Postobón. After his commercial success with non-alcoholic beverage companies, he began investing in companies directly related to the raw materials of soda, such as the sugar industry, marking the beginning of his Organización Ardila Lülle (OAL). Ardila next moved into textiles and media, and in 1972 acquired the nationwide radio company Radio Cadena Nacional (RCN). He acquired the record company Sonolux in 1973, and in 1978, he added a television channel under the RCN platform called RCN TV. This would develop into a prominent premium channel in 1998, and branch off in 2008 with a news channel called Nuestra Tele Noticias 24 Horas (NTN24).
In 1978 he also acquired textile company Coltejer, which has remained a leader in the textile sector in Antioquia. Majority control of Coltejer was later sold to Mexican business group Kaltex South America S.A. in 2008. In 1994 he founded Leona Brewery, and in 1996 he bought the main Colombia soccer team, Atlético Nacional, making Leona Beer their main sponsor until he later sold the brewery to Bavaria. In 1998, devaluation of the Colombian Peso caused him to lose 38% of his net worth internationally.
Ardila has been distinguished in Colombia by the National Government with the Grand Cross award Order of Boyaca, for services to the Colombian military, and the Order of Democracy of Simón Bolívar. He was chosen as "The Entrepreneur of the Twentieth Century" by a group of eleven business school deans in Colombia, and has received commendations from King of Spain Juan Carlos I including honorary Spanish citizenship. He is listed as one of the richest men in Latin America, and has appeared on several occasions in Forbes magazine, with his capital assets estimated at over 1 billion dollars.
Organización Ardila Lülle
Today, Organización Ardila Lülle is industrially one of the most important conglomerates in Colombia along with Alejandro Santo Domingo's Grupo Empresarial Bavaria S.A., and Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo's Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores. After positioning his company in the beverage sector, Carlos Ardila Lülle founded and consolidated the Organización Ardila Lülle, today comprising over 80 companies generating more than 40,000 jobs in Colombia, producing goods and services in sectors as diverse as communications, beverages, textiles, and entertainment.
- Central Incauca
- Central Providencia
- Central Risaralda
- Sociedad Agropecuaria Bananal S.A.
- Industrias Forestales Doña María S.A.
- Sucromiles S.A.
- Sociedad Comercializadora Int. de Azúcares y Mieles S.A.
- Textiles Rionegro C.A.
- Coltejer S.A.
- Los Coches S.A., Volkswagen dealers in Colombia
- "Carlos Ardila Lulle". Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango (in Spanish). January 10, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- Perdomo, Leonardo (July 2007). "Carlos Ardila Lulle Biography". Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- "Quién es Carlos Ardila Lulle". ESSE Consultores (in Spanish). 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2009.[dead link]
- Arias, Francisco J. (July 9, 2007). "Postobón, la Niña Mimada del Industrial Ardila Lulle". El Colombiano (in Spanish). Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- Gutierez, Luis H.; Pombo, Carlos; Taborda, Rodrigo (April 2005). "Ownership and Control in Colombian Corporations" (PDF). Inter-American Development Bank. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- "Carlos Ardila Lulle. Forjador de Empresas". Dinero (in Spanish). September 12, 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
- "Kaltex From México Takes Control Over Coltejer". La República/Proexport Colombia. July 3, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2009.
- Neville, Robert C. (2001). The Human Condition. State University of New York Press. pp. 137–138. ISBN 0-7914-4779-0.
- Akasie, Jay (July 6, 1998). "The Americas". Forbes. Retrieved December 9, 2009.