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#68 Iris Fontbona $16.9B

Random fact: Late husband Andronico Luksic started out as a Ford salesman.

Overview

Fontbona is the matriarch of Chile's richest family, which controls Antofagasta, a Santiago-based mining company and the world's tenth-largest copper producer. Through publicly traded Quinenco, they control Banco de Chile, a copper-products and cable maker (Invexans), a brewer (CCU) and a shipping company (CSAV).

As of June 19, 2018:
Last change -$216M (-1.3%)
YTD change -$923M (-5.2%)
Industry Commodities
Biggest asset ANTO LN Equity
Citizenship Chile
Age 74
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Iris Fontbona's net worth of $16.9B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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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 majority of Fontbona's fortune is derived from the Luksic family's almost 70 percent stake in copper producer Antofagasta, the world's tenth-largest copper producer, according to Copper Investing News. The family also owns 81 percent of Quinenco, a publicly traded holding company that controls Banco de Chile; brewer CCU; copper-products maker Madeco; and container shipping company CSAV. They also have 80 percent of the publicly traded Plava Laguna resort chain in Croatia, according to disclosures on the company website. 

The family controls Antofagasta and Quinenco through several vehicles based in Liechtenstein, including the Metalinvest, Kupferberg and Aureberg holding companies and the E. Abaroa and Luksburg foundations. While those entities don't provide individual ownership details, Antofagasta's 2010 report said no family member has a controlling interest in the E. Abaroa foundation, which owns most of its shares.

The fortune is attributed to Iris Fontbona, widow of Adronico Luksic,  because she's the family matriarch.

Fontbona's son, Jean-Paul Luksic, holds 4.3 percent of Antofagasta, while Andronico Luksic, son of the patriarch's late wife Ena Craig, is assumed to own a stake in Quinenco of about 11 percent. Andronico's younger brother, Guillermo, owned a 13 percent stake in Quinenco until his death in 2013.

The family has collected almost $6 billion in dividends as of December 2017, based on an analysis of Bloomberg data. The value of their cash investments is based on these proceeds as well as taxes and market performance. It also includes the Canal 13 television network.

Carolina Garcia de la Huerta, a spokesperson for Quinenco, said she was unable to confirm the net worth calculation.

Biography

Birthdate: 1943
Family: Widowed, 3 children

Iris Fontbona was reportedly 18 years old when she married Andronico Luksic Abaroa in 1961 (she hasn't publicly disclosed her birthday). Luksic, the son of a Croatian immigrant father and Chilean mother, started his career at a Ford dealership in the 1950s. He moved into mining, buying exploration concessions in the Atacama desert. After selling a copper interest to Nippon Mines in 1954, the Japanese company mistakenly paid him $500,000 instead of the 500,000 pesos he had asked for -- about six times his price. That cash helped him start on a decades-long expansion into industries ranging from beer to fishing to manufacturing.

He acquired the century-old, money-losing Antofagasta & Bolivia Railway Co. in 1980, eventually turning it into the copper giant that is now the family's largest source of wealth. He combined most of his other holdings into one company in 1996, Quinenco, carrying out an initial public offering the following year. Since Luksic's death in 2005, his family has maintained united ownership of the companies. The son from his first marriage, Andronico Luksic Craig, oversees the family's financial holdings, while his son with Fontbona, Jean-Paul, is chairman of Antofagasta. Andronico's younger brother, Guillermo, led the family's industrial holdings until his death in 2013. One of Fontbona's two daughters, Paola, manages a foundation named for the family patriarch.

Milestones
  • 1926 Andronico Luksic Abaroa is born in Antofagasta, northern Chile.
  • 1954 Nippon Mines buys Luksic copper assets for $500,000.
  • 1954 Luksic uses proceeds to begin expansion into other industries.
  • 1961 Widowed two years earlier, Luksic marries Iris Fontbona.
  • 1980 Acquires Antofagasta & Bolivia Railway Company.
  • 2001 Acquires control of lender Banco de Chile.
  • 2005 Patriarch dies; sons Andronico, Guillermo, Jean-Paul take over.
  • 2013 Guillermo Luksic Craig dies of cancer at 57 years old.