Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#485 Isaac Perlmutter $3.97B

Random fact: A veteran of Israeli's Six-Day War in 1967.

Overview

Perlmutter is CEO of Marvel Entertainment, the Walt Disney-owned superhero factory that controls the rights to Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, and other comic book and movie franchises. He owns about 1.6 percent of Disney, and is a former shareholder of toymaker Coleco and personal care corporation Remington Products.

As of July 23, 2017:
Last change -$7.62M (-0.2%)
YTD change +$125M (+3.3%)
Industry Entertainment
Biggest asset DIS US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 74
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Isaac Perlmutter's net worth of $3.97B can buy ...

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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Perlmutter's wealth is mostly derived from a minority stake in Walt Disney that he obtained when the company bought New York-based comic book company, Marvel Entertainment, in 2009. Melissa Zukerman, a spokesperson for Perlmutter, said in a March 2016 e-mail that he has 25.4 million shares of Disney, or 1.6 percent of its outstanding shares.

Perlmutter received a cash payout of almost $900 million in the 2009 deal, according to media reports at the time. He also received almost $120 million when he and a partner sold financially troubled Coleco's major product lines to the U.S. toymaker Hasbro in the 1980s, according to media reports of the deal at the time, and for selling his stake in Remington Products to Vestar Capital Partners a decade later, according to Remington's 1996 10-K filing.

The value of his cash investments is based on those stock transactions, market performance and taxation.

Biography

Birthdate: 12/1/1942
Family: Unmarried, No children

Perlmutter has lived in the U.S. since emigrating from Israel after serving in the army in the Six Day War of 1967, and still speaks with a thick Israeli accent, according to a Financial Times profile published in September of 2009.

He arrived in New York with only $250 but quickly stood out as an entrepreneur by waiting outside Jewish cemeteries in Brooklyn, where he used his Hebrew, and charged a fee to grieving families to lead services. He soon started selling toys and beauty products on the streets of New York and discovered a knack for selling surplus stock and end-of-line items at a big profit. After meeting his wife Laurie at a Catskills resort, he started on a path that would lead him to the New York-based comic book company Marvel Entertainment.

He never attended university and taught himself how to read a balance sheet, developing a skill at spotting opportunities in distressed companies. In 1984, he took a large stake in Revco, a chain of drug stores, after he sold his Odd Lot shops to the group, but fell out with the board after challenging management for control. Four years later he clashed with creditors of Coleco, the company behind the Cabbage Patch doll phenomenon, when he acquired senior debt in the group shortly after it filed for bankruptcy.

The future billionaire became involved with Marvel in the 1990s through Toy Biz, a business he ran with a fellow Israeli businessman whose products included Marvel characters. Marvel had expanded into unprofitable businesses and Perlmutter tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade the company's controller to move into movie production. The company resisted and eventually went into bankruptcy. Perlmutter and Arad won control with a bid that beat out billionaire Carl Icahn.

Milestones
  • 1967 Fought in Israel's Six-Day War.
  • 1996 Sold Remington Products to Vestar Capital.
  • 1996 Marvel Entertainment files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • 1998 Perlmutter and partner Avi Arad won control of Marvel over Carl Icahn.
  • 2005 Becomes Marvel's chief executive officer.
  • 2008 Wore a mustache disguise to premiere of Iron Man.
  • 2009 Sells Marvel Entertainment to Disney in $4 billion deal.
  • 2014 Pledged $50 million to NYU Langone Medical Center.