Johann Rupert’s incredible business empire – all the companies he owns
Johann Rupert is one of South Africa’s most successful and best-known businessmen with investments in many top South African and international companies.
He ranks second on the Forbes African Billionaires List with an estimated net worth of around $11 billion (R205 billion).
Johann Rupert and his family are also known for their philanthropic efforts.
The Rupert companies have employed thousands of people, and Johann Rupert has been the highest individual taxpayer in South Africa for the past 20 years.
The Rupert family has a long history of supporting South African educational institutions, educational programmes, and environmental causes.
Johann’s father, Anton Rupert, helped to establish the South African operations of the World Wide Fund for Nature and was involved in the National Parks Trust of South Africa.
Johann Rupert and his family have supported the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the SA College for Tourism, and Ikamva Labantu.
The Rupert Education Foundation supports numerous educational development initiatives designed to uplift and support children and youth across South Africa.
One of the projects Johann Rupert and his wife Gaynor feel particularly strongly about is giving underprivileged people land and houses.
The family has sponsored 2,000 title deeds in Stellenbosch and Graaff-Reinet.
Johann Rupert’s wealth explained
Johann is the eldest son of Anton Rupert, whose ventures in the 1940s are the foundation of the Rupert family’s wealth.
Anton Rupert established Voorbrand, a tobacco company, in the 1940s. Voorbrand was the forerunner of Rembrandt, which entered the South African cigarette and tobacco industry in 1948.
Rembrandt was a runaway success in South Africa, listing on the JSE less than a decade after being founded.
In the 1970s, Rembrandt expanded into other industries, like financial services, mining, engineering and food.
During this period, Johann Rupert studied economics at the University of Stellenbosch but dropped out to pursue a career in business.
He worked for Chase Manhattan and Lazard Freres in New York before returning to South Africa in 1979 to start Rand Merchant Bank (RMB).
He was CEO of RMB until 1984, when RMB and Rand Consolidated Investments merged to form RMB Holdings.
He left the company to join Rembrandt.
Soon after joining his father’s company, he spun off Rembrandt’s international assets to form Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods holding company that owns brands like Cartier and Montblanc.
In 1991, he was appointed chairman of Rembrandt.
Rembrandt and Richemont consolidated their tobacco interests in Rothmans International In 1995. A few years later, it merged these interests with those of British American Tobacco.
Big changes were made in 2000 when Rembrandt was restructured into two publicly traded holding companies – Remgro and Venfin.
Remgro oversaw Rembrandt’s traditional assets, while Venfin acquired the technology-oriented assets.
Less than a decade later, Remgro and VenFin merged to form Remgro, of which Johann Rupert is still the chairman.
In 2000, Rupert was appointed chairman and CEO of Richemont, and the company’s non-luxuries-related activities were spun off into Reinet Investments in 2008.
Today, Rupert is the chairman of Remgro, Richemont and Reinet.
Richemont is the largest of the three companies, with a market capitalisation of R1.51 trillion. Reinet is second with a market cap of €3.76 billion (R73.63 billion), while Remgro is slightly smaller with a R72.98 billion market cap.
The three companies have shareholdings in various local and international companies that span numerous industries.
All the companies Johann Rupert has a share in
Remgro’s diverse portfolio spans various industries, including healthcare, consumer products, media and financial services. More than 70% of the company’s portfolio consists of local shares.
|Medical Human Resources|
|JC Le Roux|
|Sedgwicks Old Brown|
|Fleur De Cap|
|RCL Foods||80.3%||5 Star|
|Number 1 Mageu|
|OUTsurance Group||30.6%||OUTsurance International Holdings Pty Limited|
|OUTsurance Life Insurance|
|Business Partners||44.1%||Business Partners|
|Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH)||57%||DFA|
|Energy Exchange of Southern Africa||79.7%||Energy Exchange of Southern Africa|
|Air Products||50%||Air Products|
|TotalEnergies||24.9%||National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa Proprietary Limited (Natref)|
|PGSI||37.7%||PG Group Holdings|
|Kagiso Tiso Holdings||43.5%||Kagiso Media|
|Me Cure Healthcare|
|East Coast Radio|
|Urban Brew Studios|
|Prescient||45%||Prescient China Equity Fund|
|Milestone Capital III||28.1%||Milestone Capital III|
|De Villiers Chocolate|
|National HealthCare Group|
|Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund (PRIF)||16.2%||ETG|
|Gas Pipeline Platform|
|Medallion Data Centres|
|Media Film Service|
|CPT Film Studios|
|FirstRand Corporate Centre|
|Momentum Metropolitan Holdings||8.6%||Momentum|
|Eris Property Group|
|British American Tobacco||0.1%||Vuse|
|Natural American Spirit|
|Blue Bulls||50%||Blue Bulls|
|Stelllenbosch Academy of Sports||100%||Stelllenbosch Academy of Sports|
|Stellenbosch Football Club||100%||Stellenbosch Football Club|
A large part of Richemont’s portfolio consists of jewellery and luxury watch producers, but some of its subsidiaries also produce leather goods, pens, firearms, and luxury clothing.
|Van Cleef & Arpels|
|A. Lange & Söhne|
|Baume & Mercier|
|Watchfinder & Co.|
|Online Flagship Stores|
Pension Insurance Corporation is Reinet’s largest investment, making up 47.5% of the company’s portfolio, according to the 2022 annual report. British American Tobacco comes in second, taking up 31%.
Other investments mentioned in the 2022 report include Trilantic Capital Partners, TruArc Partners and United States land development and mortgages.