Gulf CEO Sarath Ratanavadi named fourth richest Thai by Forbes
Forbes magazine recently published its listing of Thailand’s 50 Richest 2022 with Sarath Ratanavadi, chief executive officer of Gulf Energy Development Plc (Gulf) ranked in the fourth position with $11.1 billion net worth. This makes him the richest businessperson in the energy industry.
Forbes reported that the top 3 richest people in Thailand are all from the food and beverage sector, namely Chearavanont brothers (Charoen Pokphand Group – $26.5 billion), Chalerm Yoovidhya & family (Red Bull - $26.4 billion), and Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi (Thai Beverage – $11.2 billion), respectively.
Sarath took the company public in 2017 raising more than 25 billion baht in what was the country's biggest IPO in a decade. In 2021, Sarath acquired stakes in telecom giant InTouch Holdings and its wireless unit, Advanced Info Service (AIS).
Gulf Energy is partnering with Singtel in a new venture to set up data centres in Thailand. In January 2022 it signed an agreement with Binance to set up a crypto exchange in Thailand.
Gulf Energy also has a 70:30 joint venture with state-owned oil and gas firm PTT to build a 46.3 billion baht LNG terminal and port on Thailand's east coast.
In the first half of this year, Gulf reported financial results with a core profit of 3.25 billion baht, an increase of 36 per cent year-on-year and 19 per cent quarter-on-quarter. The growth is mainly from the profit of Gulf Sriracha Power Plant (GSRC) first unit and second unit, together with higher profit from BKR2 offshore wind power project in Germany and a share of profit from InTouch.
Sarath was born July 12, 1965, in a family of military lineage. His father Thavorn was chief of staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, while his grandfather Sod was a member of The People's Party. Sarath has degrees from Chulalongkorn University and the University of Southern California, both in engineering. He was married to Nalinee Tantisoonthorn and has two sons, Sarit and Sitamon.
After graduation, he established Gulf Electric Co Ltd in 1994 at the age of 29. He later expanded the Gulf empire to other power-related businesses by establishing Gulf Power Generation Co Ltd and Gulf Co-generation Co Ltd in 1996, Gulf Yala Green Co Ltd in 1997, Gulf IPP Co Ltd in 2004 and Gulf Energy Development Co Ltd in 2007.
In December 2021 Sarath was named the wealthiest Thai stockholder for the third consecutive year, according to rankings compiled by Money & Banking magazine and Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy. Sarath topped the list with a total shareholding of 173 billion baht, up by 57.80 billion baht or 50.14 per cent from the previous year.