Johann Rupert Overtakes Oppenheimer as South Africa’s Richest

Photographer: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images for Laureus

Cie. Financiere Richemont SA Chairman Johann Rupert, left, said, “There are things I want to see and want to do.” Close

Cie. Financiere Richemont SA Chairman Johann Rupert, left, said, “There are things I... Read More

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Photographer: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images for Laureus

Cie. Financiere Richemont SA Chairman Johann Rupert, left, said, “There are things I want to see and want to do.”

Cie. Financiere Richemont SA (CFR) Chairman Johann Rupert, who said yesterday he will take a 12-month sabbatical after leading the company for 25 years, has overtaken Nicky Oppenheimeras the richest South African.

Rupert is worth $8.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s richest people updated yesterday at 5:30 p.m. in New York. Oppenheimer’s wealth is estimated at $7.4 billion.

Rupert, born in Johannesburg, is the oldest son of billionaire industrialist Anton Rupert, who founded the tobacco company Rembrandt Group in 1948. Richemont, based in Geneva, is the world’s second-biggest luxury-goods company with brands including Montblanc pens and Chloe fashion.

“There are things I want to see and want to do,” Rupert, 62, said in a call with reporters about his one year leave. He said he may travel to Antarctica and had a list of 50 books he’d like to read. Rupert said he’ll return after the year off.

Oppenheimer, 67, is the third generation of a mining dynasty started by his grandfather, Ernest Oppenheimer, who founded Anglo American in 1917. Twelve years later he took control of De Beers, building it into the world’s biggest diamond business.

Nicky Oppenheimer sold his family’s 40 percent stake in De Beers to Anglo American Plc (AAL) for $5.1 billion last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janice Kew in Johannesburg at jkew4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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