Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#268 Ira Rennert $6.08B

Random fact: Purchased first company, Consolidated Sewing Machine, in 1975.

Overview

Rennert owns Renco Group, a conglomerate with more than $5 billion in annual sales. Its divisions include Unarco Material Handling, the industry's oldest pallet rack manufacturer, and U.S. Magnesium, the largest magnesium producer in the U.S. He also co-owns Humvee maker AM General with another billionaire, Ronald Perelman.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change -$7.16M (-0.1%)
YTD change +$512M (+9.2%)
Industry Commodities
Biggest asset Inteva
Citizenship United States
Age 82
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Ira Rennert's net worth of $6.08B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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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 majority of Rennert's wealth is derived from his ownership of Renco Group, a closely held conglomerate that has more than $5 billion in annual sales, according to its website in June 2017. He's credited with owning all of Renco based on a 2005 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the most recent document indicating ownership.

Renco's largest subsidiary is Inteva, a supplier of components to automobile manufacturers. Inteva had sales of $2.8 billion in 2015, spokeswoman Karen Manardo said in an April 2016 phone call, and is valued at enterprise value-to-sales of four publicly traded peer companies.

Renco's Missouri mines produce magnesium, through its U.S. Magnesium division, and lead and zinc, through its Doe Run subsidiary. U.S. Magnesium is the largest producer in the country, according to its website. Volume is determined from annual commodity reports by the U.S. Geological Survey that list all mines that produce 99 percent of the metals, cross referenced with disclosures by publicly traded miners. 

The average producer price for the metal is used to determine revenue which is compared against the enterprise value-to-sales of public peers chosen for each metal. Renco's lead recycling business is valued with company-stated capacity against the local monthly spot price and compared to scrap recycler Schnitzer Steel's enterprise value-to-sales multiple.

Rennert collected about $500 million in dividends during the 1990s, according to a 2001 Barclays Capital report, and $748 million in 2004 selling most of AM General to billionaire Ronald Perelman. The proceeds are included in the value of his cash investments, along with outflows for business purchases and legal judgments.

He owns a Hamptons mansion valued at $249 million in its 2016 tax assessment.

Andrew Shea, a Renco spokesman, said Rennert declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 1934
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 1956, MBA, New York University 1955, Bachelor's Degree, Brooklyn College of The City University

Ira Leon Rennert was born in Brooklyn in 1934. He earned his undergraduate degree at Brooklyn College in 1955, and later received an MBA from New York University. According to a 1998 profile of him by Vanity Fair magazine, Rennert then took a series of jobs in the securities industry, including credit analyst, salesman and securities dealer. He had his securities license revoked in 1964 by the National Association of Secruties Dealers. He later organized his own deals during the 1960s construction boom in New York.

Rennert founded the Renco Group in 1975, and began acquiring companies with an industrial and basic materials focus. He purchased AM General for $130 million in 1992. A decade later, the military vehicle supplier was booming in the midst of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He sold a 70 percent stake of AM General in 2004 to billionaire Ronald Perelman for $930 million.

At the same time he was building AM General, Rennert began acquiring most of the assets of Doe Run, a company that produces lead, zinc and other basic metals in the U.S. Renco bought a mine in Cobriza, Peru, in 1998. A decade later, a smelter in Peru owned by Renco was sued for poisoning children in a nearby town. Legal wrangling with the Peruvian government over the now-bankrupt Peruvian operations continues to this day. He shuttered all its mine operations Cobriza in 2009, after metal prices plummeted.

Rennert garnered attention when, in 1998, he began building Fairfield Pond in Sagaponack, New York, in the Hamptons region of Long Island. At 110,000 square-feet, Fairfield Pond is the country's largest residence with 29 bedrooms, 39 bathrooms and parking for 100.

Rennert is a supporter of Israel and Jewish culture, having donated 160 Torah scrolls to various communities. He and wife, Ingeborg, have three children.

Milestones
  • 1934 Ira Leon Rennert is born in Brooklyn.
  • 1955 Graduates Brooklyn College. Later earns New York University MBA.
  • 1962 Censured for operating securities business without enough capital.
  • 1975 The Renco Group is founded in New York City.
  • 1989 Renco generates more than $1 billion in revenue for the first time.
  • 1992 Buys Humvee manufacturer AM General for about $133 million.
  • 2004 Sells stake in AM General to Ronald Perelman for $930 million.
  • 2011 Purchases ArvinMeritor's body system business for about $35 million.