Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#161 John Malone $9.17B

Random fact: Passed Ted Turner in 2011 as largest private landowner in the U.S.

Overview

Malone is chairman of Liberty Global, a TV and broadband company with 29 million customers and $18 billion of annualized revenue in 2017. He owns stakes in Discovery Communications, Lionsgate Entertainment, Formula One and numerous tracking stocks, and is the largest private U.S. landowner, with 2.2 million acres in nine states.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change +$12.6M (+0.1%)
YTD change +$1.06B (+13.0%)
Industry Media & Telecom
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship United States
Age 76
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

John Malone's net worth of $9.17B can buy ...

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Malone's fortune is held in real estate and cash that was accumulated using proceeds from stakes in publicly traded U.S. media and telecommunications companies. He controls Liberty Global, the world's largest international TV and broadband company that reported $18 billion of annualized revenue based on the nine months ended June 30, 2017.

He owns about 2.2 million acres of ranch and timber land in nine U.S. states valued at prices ranging from $500 to $7,500 per acre, with remote ranch land in the west fetching the lower end of the spectrum and eastern timberland accounting for the upper end. In a Sept. 11, 2015 telephone interview Malone confirmed his real estate investments, which include hotels and multifamily housing in the U.S. that he valued at about $500 million, personal property in Ireland valued at about $150 million and "less than $100 million" in liabilities on the properties. He's the largest private U.S. landowner, according to The Land Report's 2015 top 100 list published on its website.

His public holdings include stakes in Liberty Interactive, Liberty Global, Liberty Media and related spinoffs and tracking stocks. He also owns stakes in Discovery Communications, Formula One, the Atlanta Braves and Lionsgate Entertainment, which merged with Starz in January 2017. He controls these shares directly and through trusts. Shares owned by his wife are attributed to him; those held by his adult children aren't.

Malone had a stake in satellite provider DirecTV that was last reported in 2010, when he resigned from its board of directors. The shares were converted to AT&T shares when the two companies merged in 2015 and he confirmed in the Sept. 11 interview that he continued to hold the stake in a blind trust. He said at the time that it and other undisclosed equity interests totaled about $2 billion. Those investments have been adjusted along with general market returns since the interview.

Biography

Birthdate: 3/7/1941
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1967, Johns Hopkins University, Operations Research, PhD 1965, New York University, Master's Degree 1964, Johns Hopkins University, Master's Degree 1963, Yale University, Bachelor's Degree

Born in 1941, in Milford, Connecticut, John Malone attended Yale University, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering and economics. After graduation, he began his career at Bell Labs, working in research and development and the finance department. He later continued his education, earning masters degrees from New York University and Johns Hopkins University, where he also received a doctorate in operations research.

Malone became president and chief executive officer of Tele-Communications Inc. in 1973, a Denver-based cable operation founded by cable billionaire Bob Magness. After Magness's death in 1996, Malone sold TCI to AT&T for $48 billion in what was then one of the largest mergers in U.S. corporate history. Since then, Malone has continued his dealmaking, mostly through Liberty Media and other Liberty-related companies. Along the way, he established a reputation for being a tough negotiator with a specialty for engineering complex financial arrangements that few could understand.

Malone became the largest private landowner in the U.S. in 2011, having purchased more than 2 million acres of ranch and timberland in nine states.

Milestones
  • 1963 Works at Bell Labs in planning and research and development.
  • 1964 Graduates with masters degree from Johns Hopkins University.
  • 1965 Receives masters degree in engineering from New York University.
  • 1967 Earns doctorate in operations research from John Hopkins University.
  • 1973 Appointed chief executive officer of Tele-Communications Inc.
  • 1990 Becomes chairman of Liberty Media Corporation.
  • 1999 Sells TCI to AT&T for $48 billion.
  • 2011 Gives $50 million to Yale's School of Engineering & Applied Science.