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Johann Rupert reclaims Africa’s richest person title from Aliko Dangote

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In a swift turn of events, South African billionaire Johann Rupert has managed to regain the position of the richest man in Africa, only a day after Forbes released its updated list.

This change in fortune comes as Nigerian billionaire industrialist Aliko Dangote suffered a significant loss of $538 million in just one day. Rupert, who had briefly conceded the top spot, quickly secured his lead again with a net worth of $10.6 billion.

Johann Rupert reclaims Africa's richest person title from Aliko Dangote
Johann Rupert reclaims Africa’s richest person title from Aliko Dangote.

The resurgence of Johann Rupert follows a drastic $100-million decline, prompted by the market value slump of his stake in Swiss luxury goods holding company, Richemont. Despite a 3.3% dip in Richemont shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange on Tuesday, August 15, Rupert’s financial status has propelled him ahead of his Nigerian counterpart.

On the other hand, Aliko Dangote, known as the founder of the Dangote Group, which encompasses various sectors of Africa’s manufacturing landscape, now occupies the second position on the continent’s richest list. His net worth currently stands at $10.3 billion, a result of the $538 million setback.

This latest development comes after the release of a report by Billionaires.Africa on Monday, August 14, which stated that the two billionaires had been competing for the top spot since Forbes revised its richest list due to turbulent currency fluctuations in June, causing their fortunes to dip below $11 billion.

Johann Rupert’s rise back to the top position highlights the volatile nature of wealth on the African continent and the continuous jostle for the title of the richest person. It showcases the potential for dramatic shifts in fortune that can occur in the rapidly changing economic landscape of Africa.

Johann Rupert, the chairman of Richemont, has a diverse portfolio, including luxury brands such as Cartier and Montblanc. His success is a testament to the resilience and versatility required to maintain and grow wealth in Africa’s challenging business environment.

Meanwhile, Aliko Dangote’s setback serves as a reminder that even the most successful and prominent businessmen are not immune to market fluctuations. Despite his impressive business empire, which includes interests in cement, sugar, and flour industries, Dangote experienced a substantial loss in just one day.

Johann Rupert reclaims Africa's richest person title from Aliko Dangote
Aliko Dangote.

Following the $200 million decline he experienced on Monday, which resulted in him losing his position as Africa’s wealthiest individual to Dangote, Rupert has encountered yet another considerable decrease in his net worth, with his fortune now standing at $10.6 billion after previously being valued at $10.7 billion.

To compound matters, Rupert has suffered an additional loss of $300 million this week alone.

Despite these financial setbacks, Rupert is poised to receive a substantial dividend payment of CHF204.62 million ($233.2 million) from his stake in Richemont. This disbursement is contingent upon shareholder approval during the upcoming annual general meeting of the luxury goods conglomerate and is scheduled for September 6th.

Rupert continues to wield significant influence over Richemont, with his private company, Compagnie Financiere Rupert, maintaining a substantial interest in the luxury holding group.

As of March 31st, 2023, his portfolio encompasses 6,263,000 Richemont “A” shares and 522,000,000 Richemont “B” shares. These holdings collectively account for 10.18 percent of the company’s total capital and confer upon him a majority (51 percent) of its voting rights.

The competition between Rupert and Dangote for the title of Africa’s richest person has captured the attention of the global business community. Both billionaires have played vital roles in driving economic growth and job creation across Africa, and their success stories serve as inspirations for aspiring entrepreneurs on the continent.


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