Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#32 Giovanni Ferrero $23.3B

Random fact: Hazelnuts first used to extend chocolate supplies in World War II.

Overview

Ferrero controls Ferrero Group, the world's fourth-largest chocolate maker. The Alba, Italy-based business sells Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Nutella spread, Tic Tac mints and other confections in more than 150 countries. The company is owned by multiple family members and had revenue of 9.5 billion euros ($11 billion) in 2015.

As of July 24, 2017:
Last change +$1.48M (+0.0%)
YTD change +$3.03B (+15.0%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Ferrero SpA
Citizenship Italy
Age 53
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Giovanni Ferrero's net worth of $23.3B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The Ferrero fortune is derived from closely held Ferrero SpA, the fourth-largest chocolate maker in the world, according to the International Cocoa Organization. The business is controlled through the Luxembourg-based holding company Ferrero International. The Alba, Italy-based confectionery sells candy under more than 20 brand names and had revenue of 9.5 billion euros ($11 billion) and pretax earnings of 889 million euros in the year ended August 2015, according to its website.

The company's valuation is calculated using the average enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-Ebit multiples of four publicly traded peer companies: Hershey, Lindt & Spruengli, Nestle and Mondelez. A 10 percent discount is applied to reflect Ferrero's lower pretax profit margin in comparison to the average of its peers.

Michele Ferrero, the billionaire's late father, handed control of the business to his two sons in 1997. Giovanni Ferrero became the sole chief executive when his brother, Pietro, died in 2011. The company announced in March 2017 that he would be step down as CEO on Sept. 1, 2017 and become executive chairman. He's credited with the entire family fortune through his executive responsibility at Ferrero and his roles as board member and shareholder of the family holding company, according to Orbis, a database of company information published by Bureau van Dijk.

Raoul Romoli Venutri, a spokesman for Ferrero, declined to comment on the family's net worth in a phone call on Feb. 16, 2015. He said the exact ownership breakdown isn't disclosed and that Ferrero shareholders include Giovanni's mother, Maria Franca, as well as descendants of the late Giovanni Ferrero, the billionaire's great uncle.

Biography

Birthdate: 4/1964
Family: Unknown, No children

Giovanni Ferrero was born in April 1964 in Farigliano, Italy, the son of Michele and Maria Franca Ferrero. His paternal grandparents opened a sweets shop in Alba, Italy, during World War II, and with his great uncle founded Ferrero in 1946. The family later transformed the northern Italy pastry shop into a confectionery factory.

His great uncle, Giovanni, built a national distribution network. By 1954 he had turned the brand into a household name throughout Italy, according to its 2008 corporate social responsibility report. Michele Ferrero joined the family business in 1950 and took over seven years later when Giovanni died. He handed leadership of the company to his two sons, Giovanni and Pietro, in 1997. He later passed them majority control of the family's Luxembourg-based holding company. The billionaire was named sole CEO after his brother died in a bicycle accident in South Africa in 2011. Michele, who was Italy's richest person, died in February 2015.

Nutella chocolate spread was created in 1964 and Kinder Chocolate in 1968. Their popularity helped the company expand in Europe and then, in the U.S., in 1969. By the 1980s, the company had operations on five continents.

Milestones
  • 1942 Confectionery business is founded by his grandfather, Pietro.
  • 1964 Nutella, a hazelnut chocolate spread, makes its debut.
  • 1968 Michele Ferrero develops Kinder chocolate.
  • 1982 Ferrero Rocher chocolates are invented.
  • 1983 First tub of Nutella arrives in the U.S.
  • 1997 Assumes management of the company with his brother.
  • 2011 Brother and co-CEO Pietro dies in a bicycle incident.
  • 2015 Father dies after months of illness.