Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#210 Eka Widjaja $7.28B

Random fact: Known for belt buckle studded with diamonds that spells his name.

Overview

Widjaja owns half of Golden Agri-Resources, the world's second-largest palm oil producer. He controls 59 percent of Indonesian financial firm Sinar Mas Multiartha, and has interests in pulp, paper, power generation, coal mining, telecommunications and property. His son, Franky, is chairman of Golden Agri-Resources.

As of July 21, 2017:
Last change +$5.12M (+0.1%)
YTD change +$465M (+6.8%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset Sinar Mas Multiartha Tbk PT (SMMA IJ)
Citizenship Indonesia
Age 93
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Eka Widjaja's net worth of $7.28B 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:

Widjaja's fortune is derived from a 50 percent stake in Golden Agri-Resources, the world's second-largest oil palm grower, according to the company's website. His other publicly traded assets include a 59 percent stake in Indonesian financial company Sinar Mas Multiartha; 60 percent of power producer Dian Swastatika Sentosa; 88 percent of Smartfren Telecom; 60 percent of paper company Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia and 53 percent of Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper. Widjaja controls these assets through holding companies with several family members, and is credited with the entire fortune to reflect his status as founder.

Property interests include a 70 percent stake in Sinarmas Land, which owns assets in Southeast Asia, and 84 percent of Bund Center Investment, which invests in commercial property in China. Both companies are publicly traded.

The value of his cash holdings is based on an analysis of dividends, taxes, insider transactions, market performance and charitable contributions.

Dhony Rahajoe, a spokesman for the Sinar Mas group in Jakarta, said in an e-mail that the patriarch is no longer involved in the management of the various companies and should not be credited with the fortune.

Biography

Birthdate: 10/1923
Family: Married, 8 children

Born Oei Ek Tjhong in China's Fujian province, Widjaja arrived in Indonesia at age 7 with his father. Widjaja sold biscuits as a teenager before building a copra trading business in Indonesia. He expanded his family's interests into coconut oil, coconut plantations and palm oil during the dictatorship of former President Suharto. He later created Jakarta-based Sinar Mas Group, which has interests in palm oil, pulp and paper, financial services and property. In 1996, the family founded Golden-Agri Resources to manage palm oil plantations in Indonesia and listed it in Singapore three years later

The family sold shares in their companies -- including Asia Pulp & Paper on the New York Stock Exchange and Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper in Jakarta -- in the 1990s. The group fell out of favor with international investors in 2001, when Asia Pulp, Indonesia's biggest papermaker, defaulted on almost $14 billion of debt as the wood pulp market collapsed. It could no longer service debts piled up to expand into China. Asia Pulp, whose shares were delisted in 2001, has since undergone several debt restructurings.

The Widjaja family once owned Bank Internasional Indonesia, before it was taken over and bailed out by the government in 2001 because it was unable to force Sinar Mas and other borrowers to repay their debts. More than half of the bank's loans were made to Sinar Mas companies, violating rules on inter-group lending. The family businesses later recovered on a commodity boom. They also expanded their property portfolio in Indonesia, Singapore and China. Their assets include the Westin Bund Center Shanghai and Plaza BII in Jakarta.

The group's palm oil and paper operations have been criticized by environmentalists. Burger King and Unilever stopped buying its palm oil, used in products such as shampoo and ice cream, after Greenpeace accused Sinar Mas of destroying rainforests. Asia Pulp reassured customers in 2012 that it doesn't use illegally logged trees in its paper mills.

Widjaja has fathered more than 40 children by women deemed to be his wives, the Washington Post reported in 1994, citing family friends and associates. Most of his sons by his first wife are involved in the family businesses. Franky Oesman Widjaja is the CEO of Golden Agri-Resources, the world's second-largest oil palm grower. Teguh Ganda Wijaya is in charge of the group's pulp and paper business and Muktar Widjaja oversees the family's property companies. Indra Widjaja is the president commissioner of financial services firm Jakarta-listed Sinar Mas Multiartha.

Milestones
  • 1930 Widjaja arrives in Sulawesi, Indonesia, at age 7.
  • 1972 Starts Tjiwi Kimia as a caustic soda manufacturer.
  • 1999 Lists palm oil company Golden Agri-Resources in Singapore.
  • 2001 Shares of Asia Pulp are delisted in New York.
  • 2010 Burger King stops purchasing palm oil from Sinar Mas Group.
  • 2011 Asia Food & Properties changes its name to Sinarmas Land.
  • 2015 Announced plans to build two coal-fired power plants in Indonesia.
  • 2016 Begins development of Indonesia's Sillicon Valley in Greater Jakarta.