S’Africa’s billionaire Johann Rupert drops $1.8bn in net worth

Bisola David
Bisola David
S'Africa's billionaire Johann Rupert drops $1.8bn in net worth

The richest person in South Africa, Johann Rupert, saw a substantial decline, totaling $1.8 billion in his net worth in 2023.

According to Forbes, Johann Rupert’s net worth was estimated to be $11.1 billion at the beginning of the year.

His net worth has dropped significantly over the years, from $1.8 billion to $9.3 billion. The performance of his investment in the Swiss luxury goods company, Compagnie Financière Richemont, is one of the main factors responsible for this decrease.

Even though Compagnie Financière Richemont SA (Richemont) performed exceptionally well on the JSE this year, the luxury goods company’s share price saw a significant decline despite a robust quarterly sales performance overall.

Although Richemont revealed lower sales numbers for the Americas, they did note that the first quarter of the fiscal year started off successfully, with sales growing by 14% at actual exchange rates (and by 19% at constant exchange rates) by the end of June 30.

According to CNBC, Richemont’s revelation of declining US sales and a noteworthy rebound in Asia was the catalyst for the share price decline. At the same time, European stock indices had minor decreases that morning as well.

In the last six months, there has been a significant 26% decrease in Richemont shares. This decline can be attributed mainly to the underperformance of LVMH, which holds the leading position in the luxury goods industry, as well as the declining sales in China, which are currently experiencing a modest recovery.

In June, Johann Rupert made news when he dethroned long-standing Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote to become the continent’s richest billionaire.

Rupert had a $12 billion net worth at the time. However, Aliko Dangote has once again taken the top rank with his net worth currently standing at $10.7 billion, while Rupert’s net worth has fluctuated.

Rupert is the chairman of Compagnie Financière Richemont, a prestigious luxury goods company based in Switzerland that is known for brands like Cartier and Montblanc.

The company was founded in 1998 as a consequence of the spinoff of assets from Rembrandt Group Limited (now Remgro Limited), a company that his father, Anton, had founded in the 1940s.

In addition, he has a 26% share in the Luxembourg-based investment holding company Reinet and a 7% stake in the diversified investment firm Remgro, where he also serves as chairman.

Johann Rupert owns properties in the Karoo, an area of South Africa, and has been a prominent opponent of plans allowing fracking there.

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