Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#326 Lino Saputo $5.24B

Random fact: Cheese market share of 33 percent in Canada, 10 percent in U.S.

Overview

Saputo is the chairman of Saputo Inc., the largest cheesemaker in Canada. His father founded the Montreal-based company, which sells yogurt, flavored milk and bakery products, including Hostess-branded snack cakes in Canada. He also owns commercial real estate property through his holding company, Jolina.

As of July 23, 2017:
Last change +$461k (+0.0%)
YTD change -$276M (-5.0%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset SAP CN Equity
Citizenship Canada
Age 80
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Lino Saputo's net worth of $5.24B 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:

The majority of Saputo's fortune is derived from Saputo Inc., Canada's largest dairy and cheese producer, according to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre. Saputo owns about 33 percent of the company's shares through Jolina Capital, his holding company, according to a June 1, 2017 company filing to SEDI, the Canadian financial disclosure system. He's also collected more than $1.2 billion in Saputo stock sales and dividends since 1993, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The billionaire also made more than $250 million between 2004 and 2012 in the sale of stock of TransForce, a publicly traded Canadian trucking outfit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Saputo invests in real estate with Groupe Mach. The partners own all or most of the Stock Exchange Tower, CIBC Tower and two other office buildings in Montreal. This analysis doesn't assign a value to those because Saputo's stake isn't disclosed.

Representatives for Saputo didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

Biography

Birthdate: 6/10/1937
Family: Married, No children

Emanuele "Lino" Saputo was born in 1937, the son of a master cheesemaker in Montelepre on the Italian island of Sicily. His father, Giuseppe, and oldest brother, Frank, immigrated to Canada in 1950. Lino, his mother, another brother and four sisters followed them two years later.

As pizza was beginning to gain a foothold in North American diets, Lino persuaded his father to take $500 in savings and a bicycle to start a business in 1954 that became Saputo Inc.. It's Canada's largest cheese producer with one-third market share and the third-largest cheesemaker in the U.S., according to the company's website.

Lino succeeded his father in running the company in 1969 and orchestrated a number of acquisitions that made it the largest dairy processor in Canada. He also guided the company into the bakery and snackfoods business and expanded into the U.S. The company sold shares in a public offering in 1997. Saputo named his son Lino CEO in 2004 and took the title of chairman.

With his wife, Mirella, Saputo supports sick and disabled children, women and seniors in Canada. They live in Montreal.

Milestones
  • 1954 Saputo Inc. is founded in Montreal with $500 and a bicycle for deliveries.
  • 1957 Opens a production facility in Montreal as pizza boom starts.
  • 1970 Becomes Canada's largest mozzarella cheese producer.
  • 1980 With acquisition of two U.S. plants, Saputo expands outside of Canada.
  • 1997 Saputo Inc. sells shares in an initial public offering.
  • 2001 Buys Dairyworld Foods, making Saputo the largest milk producer in Canada.
  • 2006 Saputo enters European market by buying a stake in a German cheese producer.
  • 2017 Announces plans to retire and hand control to his son, Lino Saputo Jr.