Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#26 Jorge Paulo Lemann $32.1B

Random fact: Moved to Switzerland after kidnapping attempt on children in 1999.

Overview

Lemann shares control of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beermaker, with his billionaire partners Marcel Telles and Carlos Sicupira. The trio are shareholders in Kraft Heinz and Restaurant Brands International, the company behind Burger King. They also control retailer Lojas Americanas and developer Sao Carlos in Brazil.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change -$25.4M (-0.1%)
YTD change +$4.66B (+17.0%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset ABI BB Equity
Citizenship Brazil
Age 78
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Jorge Paulo Lemann's net worth of $32.1B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
0
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 Lemann's wealth is derived from a 10 percent stake in publicly traded Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beermaker. His stake is disclosed in the company's 2016 annual report and filings to Brazilian regulators by Ambev, a subsidiary.

Along with his partners, Carlos Alberto Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles, he controls New York-based investment firm 3G Capital. Ownership in 3G's Cayman Islands-based funds and the stakes it has in some of its biggest investments haven't been disclosed. Lemann's 3G stake is calculated at 45 percent -- the equivalent of the stakes of Telles and Sicupira combined -- based on disclosed stakes in the 3G partners' publicly traded investments, including Lojas Americanas, Sao Carlos and Ambev. The shares are controlled via holding companies in the Bahamas, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Jersey, the Netherlands and the U.S.

The valuation considers the firm's 43 percent voting interest in Restaurant Brands International, disclosed in an April 26, 2017 proxy, as economic interest. 3G partnered with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to put up $4.1 billion in equity financing for the $23 billion acquisition of condiment maker Heinz in 2013. The buyout company and Berkshire agreed in 2015 to pay a $10 billion special dividend to Kraft Foods shareholders as part of a merger with the ketchup maker, according to a statement by Heinz.

They like control when they invest, said Luiz Cezar Fernandes, who founded Banco Garantia with them in the '70s. While a 3G fund sought to raise $5 billion ahead of the Kraft Heinz deal, the partners also contributed equity of their own, said a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because he wasn't authorized to speak on the matter. The valuation assumes they have 50.1 percent of 3G’s stakes in Kraft Heinz and Restaurant Brands, and that they reinvested dividends paid by Ambev before its 2004 merger with Interbrew.

Biography

Birthdate: 8/26/1939
Family: Married, 6 children
Education: 1961, Harvard University, Economics, Bachelor's Degree

The son of a Swiss businessman, Lemann was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1939. He graduated from Harvard University with an economics degree in 1961, and spent a brief period of time as a business columnist at the Rio newspaper Jornal do Brasil before moving on to work at brokerages. At the same time, he pursued a professional tennis career. He was a five-time Brazilian national champion and played in the Davis Cup twice, once representing his home country and once Switzerland, where he maintains dual citizenship.

Lemann bought a brokerage called Garantia in 1971, which -- using the Goldman Sachs partnership model as his inspiration -- he quickly turned into Brazil's premier investment bank. Carlos Alberto Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles joined him in the early 1970s; they remain his partners in business deals today. The three made one of their longest-standing investments in 1982, with the takeover of Lojas Americanas, a chain of retail stores that is now among the largest in Brazil. They acquired Cia. Cervejaria Brahma seven years later, in their first foray into the beer industry.

Following more than $100 million in trading losses on restructured government debt, Garantia was sold to Credit Suisse, netting the partners $675 million in cash and stock in 1998. The "three musketeers," as they are sometimes called, turned their focus to acquisitions. They combined a series of Latin American brewers into Brahma, which became Ambev in 1999. Through buyout firm GP Investimentos, which they founded in 1993, they also bought, turned around and sold companies such as railroad operator ALL.

The trio sold GP to junior partners in 2004, the same year they engineered Ambev's $11 billion merger with Belgium's Interbrew. They followed that up in 2008, with the $52 billion union of Interbrew with Anheuser-Busch, which created AB InBev, the world's largest brewer. Ambev, now a subsidiary of AB InBev's successor, Newbelco, is publicly traded in Brazil. Through New York-based 3G Capital, Lemann and his partners bought stock in U.S. rail company CSX in 2007 and waged a proxy fight for control of the board, ultimately abandoning the investment in 2010 (at a profit). That same year they completed the leveraged buyout of Burger King Holdings, putting up $1.5 billion in cash, funded in part by former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista. They flipped a 29 percent stake for $1.4 billion to William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management in 2012. Burger King returned to being a public company in June of that year.

With Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, 3G agreed to acquire condiment maker Heinz for about $23 billion in February 2013.

Lemann, who rarely gives interviews or speaks publicly, has donated millions to educational causes. Considered a legend in Brazilian finance, he lives in a suburb of Zurich with his family.

Milestones
  • 1961 Lemann graduates from Harvard with a degree in economics.
  • 1962 Competes in the Davis Cup, representing Switzerland.
  • 1971 Buys Garantia brokerage, which grows into full investment bank.
  • 1973 Lemann again plays in the Davis Cup, this time for Brazil.
  • 1999 Ambev created; $11 billion merger with Interbrew completed 5 years later.
  • 2008 The trio direct InBev's $52 billion merger with Anheuser-Busch.
  • 2013 3G and Berkshire Hathaway buy Heinz for $23 billion.
  • 2016 AB InBev merges with SABMiller to form Newbelco, the world's largest beermaker.