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Asian Family Conglomerates

Thai magnate grooms new generation for $63bn CP empire

Successors face challenge on rail diversification

MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writer | Thailand

BANGKOK -- Four days after the coronation of King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun in May, Thailand's richest businessman arrived at the Grand Palace in Bangkok for an audience with the new monarch, his two chosen successors in tow.

Dhanin Chearavanont, the 80-year-old senior chairman of conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, came clad in a dark suit and a yellow tie -- a color traditionally associated with the king. That the meeting happened so soon after King Vajiralongkorn's accession was a testament to Dhanin's close relationship with the royals and his stature after a career spanning almost 50 years.

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