Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#449 Jim Leprino $4.32B

Random fact: Also produces other dairy ingredients, like whey protein.


Leprino is chairman and owner of Leprino Foods, a Denver, Colorado-based dairy producer. The company makes cheese and dairy products, for use in confections, deserts and infant formula. It's the world’s largest producer of mozzarella, according to its website. Leprino Foods had revenue of $3 billion in 2016.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change +$2.57M (+0.1%)
YTD change +$303M (+7.5%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Leprino Foods
Citizenship United States
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Jim Leprino's net worth of $4.32B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Leprino is the sole owner of closely held Leprino Foods, the world's largest producer of mozzarella according to the company's website. It's valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales, enterprise value-to-Ebitda and price-to-earnings multiples of three publicly traded peers: Saputo, Fromageries Bel and Glanbia. Denver-based Leprino doesn't disclose financials. Revenue of $3 billion in 2016 was taken from Dairy Food's annual ranking of the 100 biggest U.S. dairy companies.

Leprino Foods press representative Kim DeVigil did not respond to a request for comment on Leprino's net worth.


Family: Married, 2 children

James Leprino is the son of Denver-based, Leprino Foods founder Mike Leprino Sr. The elder Leprino started making cheese by hand in the back of his local Italian grocery store -- the same site as today's headquarters -- in 1950. He sold cheese under the brand Gina Marie and shipped whey to Japan in 1978 before renaming his company Leprino Foods Company a year later.

Thanks to methods that included converting milk to frozen shredded cheese in four hours, according to the company website, Leprino Foods had become America's number one cheese supplier by 1992. Three years later, Pizza Hut introduced its pizza crust stuffed with mozzarella leading to a surge in Leprino's sales. Today it is the world's largest mozzarella producer, eaten by 75 percent Americans each year, although no retail products carry the brand.

The company expanded to Western Europe through a joint venture with Europe's leading cheese producer Glanbia Cheese in 2000, and was present in 40 countries ten years later. Leprino's annual cheese output is enough to cover 2.6 billion pizzas.

Winchester Dairy, a milk supplier of Leprino Foods, was accused of animal abuse in October 2014. Leprino terminated shipments from the dairy after video evidence emerged of workers whipping, kicking and punching cows.

The billionaire lives in Indian Hills, Colorado with his family.

  • 1950 First cheese is sold under Gina Marie brand.
  • 1978 Starts shipping whey to Japan.
  • 1979 Name changes to Leprino Foods Company.
  • 1992 Becomes America's number one cheese supplier.
  • 1998 Enters into alliance with Dairy Farmers of America, a dairy co-operative.
  • 2000 Starts joint venture with Glanbia Cheese.
  • 2010 Expands international market to 40 countries.
  • 2014 Revenue tops $3 billion for first time, according to Dairy Foods.