Sir Douglas Myers is being remembered by the makers of Steinlager beer as the driving force that created the company, and as an astute and courageous businessman as well as a philanthropist.
Sir Douglas has died in London,
aged 78, after being diagnosed with cancer in 2013.
“He was deeply passionate about Lion and about New Zealand, and he instilled in us a belief that we could take on the world and we did,” Lion NZ managing director Rory Glass said.
Sir Doug was the driving force behind the creation of Lion Nathan Ltd in 1988, and the audacious takeover of Australia’s Bond brewing assets in 1990.
“Today the Lion family raises a Steinlager to Sir Doug. Thank you for your vision, your courage and your passion,” Mr Glass said.
A generous philanthropist, Sir Doug was one of New Zealand’s most influential figures in the 20th century, he says.
He was committed to improving New Zealand’s economy for the good of all.
The New Zealand Business Hall of Fame said in a biography that Sir Douglas was born to money and turned his head start in life to an unassailable lead, becoming the richest and most successful business leader following his takeover of Lion in 1981.
Father Sir Kenneth Myers and grandfather Sir Arthur Myers were successful businessmen.
Sir Douglas merged Lion with L D Nathan and Company in 1988 and expanded heavily into Australia.
He sold his shareholding to Japanese brewer Kirin in 1998 and stepped down as chairman in 2001.
A long-time advocate of free-market reform, he chaired the influential New Zealand Business Roundtable from 1990 to 1997.
In 2002, Sir Douglas moved to live in London but visited New Zealand where the family have a farm at Matauri Bay.
He was awarded a CBE in 1991 for his services to business management and was knighted in 2010.
Sir Douglas was ranked tenth on the 2016 NBR Rich list with a total worth of $900 million.
Sir Douglas is survived by wife Barbara and children Jessica, Laura and Campbell.