Business

Johann Rupert made over R15 billion in one day

Billionaire businessman Johann Rupert made R15.1 billion on Thursday, 18 January, following a sharp increase in the Richemont share price.

Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index shows that Rupert is South Africa’s richest person, with a total net worth of $12 billion (R227 billion).

Rupert controls the Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company, Compagnie Financiere Richemont, through Compagnie Financiere Rupert – a family trust.

Richemont was formed in 1998 through a spinoff of the global assets owned by Rembrandt Group Limited (now Remgro Limited), which his father, Anton, founded in the 1940s.

His other holdings include Remgro, a South Africa-based investment vehicle with stakes in more than 30 companies, and Luxembourg-based Reinet Investments.

Rupert’s controlling Richemont stake is the biggest contributor to his significant wealth, ranking him among the world’s 200 wealthiest people.

He is the managing partner of Compagnie Financiere Rupert, a company holding 10.18% of Richemont’s shares.

It also holds 51% of Richemont’s voting rights through owning 522 million class B shares.

Shares in Richemont surged following a report of higher sales during the holiday shopping season as stronger-than-expected demand for its jewellery in China and the US.

Richemont’s performance, on the heels of a profit warning last week from Burberry, shows the diverging fortunes of luxury houses at a time when industry growth is slowing.

These strong results made the Richemont share price soar by 10.8% on Thursday, adding over R150 billion to the company’s market cap.

With a shareholding of 10.18% in the company, chairman Johann Rupert saw his net wealth surge by around R15.1 billion on the day.

Rupert has seen his net wealth decline gradually over the past year as Richemont’s share price has declined by over 15% in the last 12 months, despite its sharp uptick on Thursday. 

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