Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#10 Charles Koch $47.4B

Random fact: Father was a member of the anti-communist John Birch Society.

Overview

Koch is the chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, the second-largest closely held business in the U.S. The Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate operates in oil refining, pipelines, commodities trading, ranching and paper pulp and has annual revenue of about $100 billion. He owns 42 percent of the company.

As of Sept. 21, 2017:
Last change -$128M (-0.3%)
YTD change +$1.84B (+4.0%)
Industry Industrial
Biggest asset Georgia-Pacific
Citizenship United States
Age 81
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Charles Koch's net worth of $47.4B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Koch's fortune derives from his 42 percent stake in Koch Industries, a closely held industrial conglomerate that reports annual revenue of "as high as $100 billion" on its website. The figure was used in the analysis as of Nov. 30, 2016, after the company lowered the figure on the site from "as much as $115 billion," citing commodity prices as the cause of the fall. Koch Industries is the second-largest closely held company in the U.S. based on sales, according to the PrivCo 250 ranking for 2016.

Paper and pulp producer Georgia-Pacific had $19.4 billion of revenue, according to an October 2015 credit report from Moody's, and polymer and fiber producer Invista had revenue of $5.4 billion, according to a September 2015 Moody's report. Combined revenue for Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipelines and Koch Fertilizer is calculated to be $60.8 billion using the sales-per-barrel, sales-per-pipeline mile or sales-per-metric ton of select industry peers and the corresponding data reported by the Koch businesses. Revenue of $4.1 billion for electronic components manufacturer Molex was calculated by applying a 4 percent annual growth rate, derived from conversations with four industry analysts, to its last reported $3.6 billion of revenue in 2013.

The remaining group revenue -- $10.3 billion -- is attributed to Koch's commodity trading, financial services, ranching and pollution-control equipment subsidiaries and included at a price-to-sales multiple of one. Valuation details for the units analyzed individually can be found in the asset notes for each.

His cash investments were included at $2 billion in 2015, based on a March 2016 Bloomberg report and applied to a generalized asset allocation since then. His stake in the family's private equity fund, Koch Equity Development, is included at the cost of the fund's known investments, based on a June 2016 Bloomberg report.

The billionaire declined to comment through Koch spokesman Rob Carlton in November 2016.

Biography

Birthdate: 11/1/1935
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1958, Master's Degree, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1957, Bachelor's Degree, Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Charles Koch was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1935, to Mary and Fred Koch, who had co-founded an engineering company that specialized in oil refining and oil-related processes. Charles attended military school and studied engineering at MIT. He joined the family business in 1961 and took over the company following his father's death in 1967.

A fraternal feud over control of the business erupted in 1980, when younger brother Bill and older brother Frederick tried to unseat Charles as CEO in a failed boardroom coup, while a fourth brother, David, sided with Charles. Bill and Fred agreed to sell their shares back to the company for $1.1 billion in 1983. They sued two years later, claiming they were underpaid. A 15-year legal battle ensued, which was decided in favor of Charles and David in 2000.

At the helm of Koch Industries for almost 50 years, Koch has made a number of acquisitions, including the 2005 purchase of Georgia-Pacific for $21 billion. One of the original founders of the Cato Institute, he remains a backer of Republican and libertarian causes.

Milestones
  • 1935 Charles Koch is born in Wichita, Kansas, to Fred and Mary Koch.
  • 1959 Graduates from MIT with two master's degrees in engineering.
  • 1963 Appointed president of Koch Engineering.
  • 1967 Takes over the family business after his father's death.
  • 1976 Establishes the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
  • 1980 Brothers Bill and Fred attempt to oust him as CEO of Koch Industries.
  • 1985 Bill and Fred Koch sue Koch Industries over the value of their shares.
  • 2000 Bill and Fred Koch lose their lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 2012 The Cato Institute settles two lawsuits with the Koch brothers.