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Rausing Heir Arrested in U.K. on Suspicion of Wife’s Murder

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July 13 (Bloomberg) -- The son of milk carton billionaire Hans Rausing, Sweden’s third-richest man, has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife, London police confirmed today.

Detective Inspector Sharon Marman told a preliminary coroner’s inquest today that the 49-year-old man arrested on July 10 in connection with the death of Eva Kemeny, 48, was Hans Kristian Rausing, a spokesman from the Metropolitan Police Service said.

Rausing was arrested July 10 “on suspicion of possession of drugs” and “was further arrested in connection with the death whilst at a south London police station,” police said earlier this week. When law enforcement authorities inspected the couple’s West London home, they discovered Kemeny’s body.

An autopsy Tuesday failed to find the cause of death, police said, and Rausing is now receiving medical attention. He hasn’t been charged in the investigation.

“During her short lifetime, [Eva] made a huge philanthropic impact, supporting a large number of charitable causes, not only financially, but using her own personal experiences,” the Kemeny family said in a statement on July 10. “She bravely fought her health issues for many years.”

Her husband’s parents Hans and Marit Rausing said in a separate statement they were “deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of their daughter-in-law” and asked “that their privacy be respected at this sad time.”

The Associated Press reported on the coroner’s inquest earlier today.

Cardboard Cartons

The couple was arrested and charged with possession of narcotics after trying to take cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin into the U.S. embassy in London in 2008, according to police. They confessed to the charges and weren’t sentenced to prison.

Hans Kristian Rausing is one of three heirs to his father’s fortune, which is worth more than $6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His grandfather, Ruben, founded Swedish packaging company Tetra Pak in 1951. Ruben’s sons, Hans and Gad, joined the firm thereafter.

The company’s most successful product was the folded and laminated cardboard carton for packaging liquids. Invented in 1952, the product became the standard for milk and juice cartons in most of the world. The company was able to manufacture one billion cartons a year by 1959.

Fled Sweden

Hans Rausing fled Sweden with his family in the early 1980s, in protest of the country’s high tax rates, while continuing to run the company with Gad. In 1993, Hans Rausing stepped down from his management role at Tetra Laval Group, the family’s holding company. Two years later, he sold his half of the family business to his brother for an estimated $7 billion.

Jorgen Haglind, a spokesman for Tetra Laval, said in an e-mail on July 11 that it would be “fully inappropriate” for the company to comment on Rausing’s death.

A statement posted on the company website today added that, “Hans Rausing, together with his immediate family, exited all of their interests in Tetra Pak, and the Tetra Laval Group, in 1995,” and stated that there would be no official comment “on this private, tragic matter.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert LaFranco in London at rlafranco@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew G. Miller at mmiller144@bloomberg.net

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