Bloomberg News

Ortega Passes Buffett to Recapture Third-Richest Title

September 13, 2013

The world’s 200 wealthiest people added $59 billion to their collective wealth this week as Amancio Ortega, the 77-year-old founder of the Zara clothing chain, recaptured the title of world’s third-richest person from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (A:US) chairman Warren Buffett.

Shares of Arteixo, Spain-based Inditex SA (ITX) have surged 20 percent since hitting their June low while Berkshire has skidded 5 percent from its 52-week high in July. Ortega has a net worth of $58.9 billion, making him $800 million richer than Buffett, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

U.S. stocks extended a weekly gain. Oil and gold helped lead commodities lower, amid talks on a plan for Syria to surrender chemical weapons as investors weighed prospects for the Federal Reserve to cut stimulus.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.98 percent during the week to close at 1687.99. The MSCI World Index gained 2.15 percent to 1534.64.

“There was a lot of economic speculation this week,” said John Carey, a portfolio manager at Pioneer Investment Management Inc. in Boston, which manages about $200 billion. “All thoughts were about tapering, no tapering, fast tapering or slow tapering,” he said, referring to speculation surrounding the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy.

Gates, Slim

Bill Gates, 57, remains the world’s richest person with a $72.5 billion fortune. The Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US) founder’s second-largest holding, a 10 percent stake in Canadian National Railway, is up 12 percent this year as the Montreal-based company increased car-loadings and tonnage shipped, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.

Mexico’s Carlos Slim, 73, is $6.2 billion behind Gates. The telecommunications tycoon’s America Movil SAB, Latin America’s biggest mobile-phone company, plans to file its 7.2 billion-euro ($9.6 billion) offer for Royal KPN NV shares as soon as next week, when it also expects to get regulatory approval, according to an investor briefed by the company.

After acquiring a stake of about 30 percent in KPN last year, America Movil is moving to take full control of the former Dutch phone monopoly. To do so, it will have to persuade the independent foundation that protects KPN’s interests not to block the deal.

Dynastic Wealth

The Waltons, America’s richest family, are valued at $140 billion. The heirs of Wal-Mart Inc. founder Sam Walton have exploited a variety of legal loopholes to avoid the estate tax, according to court records and Internal Revenue Service filings obtained through public-records requests.

The family’s example highlights how billionaires bypass a tax intended to make sure that the nation’s richest contribute their share to government rather than perpetuate dynastic wealth.

Laurene Powell Jobs, 49, the widow of Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs, gained two places in the wealth ranking. The Cupertino, California-based company fell the most in almost five months after unveiling two iPhones that were criticized by analysts as lacking enough new features or a sufficiently low price to attract a broad range of new customers.

Jobs’s biggest holding, a 7.3 percent stake in The Walt Disney Co., rose 8.6 percent after announcing it planned to buy back $6 billion to $8 billion of its stock beginning in 2014.

Police Raids

The Geneva home and private jet of Beny Steinmetz, Israel’s richest person, was raided by Swiss police, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The raids were ordered by Geneva’s public prosecutor following a request by the government of Guinea and occurred within the last two weeks, said the person, who was briefed on the matter and asked not to be identified as the investigation is confidential. No documents were taken, the person said.

Steinmetz, who has a net worth of $7.6 billion, offered to collaborate with Swiss Authorities and is co-operating fully, his lawyer Marc Bonnant said in an e-mailed statement.

Molex Inc., a maker of electronic components for products such as Apple’s iPhone, agreed to a $7.2 billion acquisition by Koch Industries Inc., the holding company controlled by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

Koch will buy Molex’s shares for $38.50 apiece, a 31 percent premium over the publicly traded common stock, according to a statement Sept. 9. The companies expect to complete the transaction by the end of the year.

The brothers have a combined fortune of $90 billion and rank 6th and 7th on the Bloomberg index.

Twitter IPO

Twitter Inc., which announced Sept. 12 that it filed for an initial public offering, gave Goldman Sachs the job of running the sale, a person with knowledge of the matter said. While Twitter will probably appoint other banks on the offering, the lead-left role -- so named because of the way the bank names are printed on the offering prospectus -- is typically the most lucrative job for advisers in a stock offering.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, 36, joined the ranks of the world’s billionaires in July after his mobile payment company, Square Inc., announced it was in the process of closing a $200 million investment by Rizvi Traverse Management LLC. The transaction valued the company at $3.2 billion.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York and listed in U.S. dollars.

To contact the reporter on this story: David De Jong in New York at ddejong3@bloomberg.net

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


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