Johann Rupert has overtaken Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote to become Africa’s richest person and has now moved up to the top spot among the richest people in Africa as he now has a net worth of R216 billion ($11.9 billion).
Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires List has ranked Rupert as the 145th richest person in the world, with Dangote now ranked 170th with a net worth of R196 billion ($10.8 billion).
Now serving as the chairman of Remgro, Richemont and Reinet Investments, Rupert’s net worth has skyrocketed by R40 billion by 2023 thanks to the rise in the share price of his luxury goods company Richemont.
With the company reporting strong results in May, Richemont’s share price is up 33.21% this year. Anton Rupert’s eldest son is Johann.
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Johann’s 1940s ventures are the reason why the Rupert family is so prosperous. In the 1940s he founded a tobacco company under the name Voorbrand. That company then became the forerunner of Rembrandt, which entered the South African cigarette and tobacco industry in 1948.
Rembrandt, which featured on the JSE less than ten years after it was founded, was a great success in South Africa. At the time, the founder of the company was studying economics at Stellenbosch University, but did not complete it as he was pursuing a career in business.
Rupert worked for Chase Manhattan and Lazard Freres in New York before returning to South Africa in 1979 to found Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), then reigned as CEO of RMB until 1984 when RMB and Rand Consolidated Investments merged to form RMB Holdings. Then he left the company to join Rembrandt.
Not long after joining his father’s business, Rupert spun off Rembrandt’s international assets to form Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods holding company with brands such as Cartier and Montblanc.
In 1995, Rembrandt and Richemont consolidated their tobacco interests into Rothmans International. A few years later, it merged these interests with those of British American Tobacco.
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Rupert was named Chairman and CEO of Richemont in 2000, and the company’s non-luxury-related businesses were spun off into Reinet Investments in 2008.
Johann Rupert’s worth is over R200
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