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South African Businessman Overtakes Dangote As Africa’s Richest Person

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South Africa’s luxury goods tycoon Johann Rupert and his family have taken the crown as Africa’s top billionaire after Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote lost the prime spot.

According to the latest Forbes billionaire ranking, Mr Rupert and his family are currently the 201st wealthiest in the world, while Mr Dangote is the 219th.

The valuation of the wealth of Mr Dangote, who held the first place on the African billionaire ranking for more than 12 years, came under pressure after a major devaluation of the naira by roughly 40 per cent last June and the free fall that followed left his wealth much weaker in dollar terms.

Mr Dangote earns the bulk of his fortune in naira, which finished 2023 as the third worst-performing currency in the world of the 151 currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Presently valued at $9.5 billion, Mr Dangote’s wealth declined by nearly one-third last year.

Born over 73 years ago in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Mr Rupert chairs the Swiss-based luxury goods company Compagnie Financiere Richemont and South Africa-based investment holding company Remgro.

Richemont’s most iconic brands include Cartier and Montblanc. His net worth, together with that of his family, is estimated to be $10 billion.

The billionaire also holds a 26 per cent stake in Reinet, an investment holding company headquartered in Luxembourg.

The wealth of Mr Rupert & family has been on a steady rise since 2020 after slumping by 34.3 per cent over the two previous years. It climbed to $7.1 billion in 2021 from $4.6 billion a year ago, jumping to $8.9 billion in 2022 and reaching an all-time high of $11.1 billion last year.

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That feat lifted the billionaire to the 157th position on the Forbes World Billionaire Ranking in 2023.

Mr Rupert part-owns the Saracens English rugby team and Anthonij Rupert Wines, named after his deceased brother.

He counts his biggest regret as the failure to acquire 50 per cent of Gucci when he had the chance to buy it for just $175 million.


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