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Hidden Billionaires: How We Crunched the Numbers for Net Worth

Bloomberg Markets Magazine
The cover of the September 2011 issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine shows a photo of Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor, Chairman of IFH Peru. Photographer: Gabriel Rinaldi/Bloomberg Markets via Bloomberg.

We defined a hidden billionaire as an individual who has a net worth of $1 billion or more and who hasn’t appeared on a major international rich list. (A few of our billionaires have been mentioned in smaller regional rankings.)

When Bloomberg Markets listed billionaires with their families, family members hold a portion of the person’s assets; however, the fortune is ultimately controlled by the individual.

In calculating net worth, we priced the stakes in public companies as of July 11 and included dividend income paid to that date.

Private companies were valued in several ways, most often by applying price-to-sales and price-earnings ratios of similar public companies. We tried to identify and confirm all potential liabilities; however, we made no assumptions about personal debt.

We didn’t apply any liquidity discounts to private companies. When we couldn’t verify stakes in private assets, we didn’t include them in net worth calculations. We deducted appropriate taxes based on prevailing income, dividend and capital gains tax rates in a billionaire’s country of citizenship.

Each billionaire or his or her representative was given an opportunity to respond to questions regarding the net worth estimate, including assets and liabilities.

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