Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#140 Ricardo Salinas $9.95B

Random fact: Spanish-language broadcaster Azteca America begins airing in U.S.

Overview

Salinas is chairman and controller of Grupo Elektra, a conglomerate with revenue of 81.2 billion Mexican pesos ($4.4 billion) in 2016. The Mexico City-based lending and retail group owns Banco Azteca. The billionaire also owns shares in broadcaster TV Azteca and sold half of mobile phone operator Iusacell for $1.7 billion in 2015.

As of July 20, 2017:
Last change +$38.8M (+0.4%)
YTD change +$6.11B (+158.9%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset ELEKTRA* MM Equity
Citizenship Mexico
Age 61
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Ricardo Salinas's net worth of $9.95B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

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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 Salinas's fortune is derived from his stakes in two publicly traded companies: Grupo Elektra, a retail and banking conglomerate, and TV Azteca, a Spanish-language broadcaster. Salinas and family own 74 percent of Grupo Elektra and 65 percent of TV Azteca, according to the 2016 annual reports of the companies. He sold his half of closely held Iusacell, Mexico's third-largest mobile phone carrier, to AT&T for $1.7 billion in January 2015.

Since the mid-1990s, Salinas has collected more than $600 million in dividends. The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of taxes and market performance.

A spokesman for Grupo Salinas declined to comment on the net worth calculation.

Biography

Birthdate: 10/19/1955
Family: Married, 6 children
Education: 1979, AB Freeman School of Business 1977, Accounting, Monterrey Institute of Technology, Bachelor's Degree Monterrey Institute of Technology, Bachelor's Degree

Great-grandfather Benjamin Salinas Westrup began selling beds with brother-in-law Joel Rocha Barocio in 1906, eventually turning the business into furniture retailer Salinas & Rocha. Grandfather Hugo Salinas Rocha co-founded a radio factory that would later become Grupo Elektra. Father Hugo Salinas Price joined the business in 1950, rising to CEO in 1952.

Young Ricardo sold honey door to door with his brothers and sisters at the age of 10. After graduating from the Monterrey Technological Institute in 1977, he briefly ran a restaurant before turning to business. Among his first endeavors: installing satellite dishes made out of metal and chicken wire.

He succeeded his father as CEO of Grupo Elektra in 1987, and expanded the company into banking. Today, Grupo Elektra operates more than 6,000 outlets in the U.S. and seven countries in Latin America. He founded TV Azteca in 1993, effectively breaking Mexico's television monopoly. Ten years later, he led a group of investors in buying Iusacell, Mexico's third-biggest mobile phone operator, and sold a 50 percent stake in the business to AT&T for $1.7 billion in January 2015.

Through his two foundations, Salinas's charitable giving focuses on improving health and education in Mexico, and in Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S.

Milestones
  • 1955 Ricardo Benjamin Salinas Pliego is born in Mexico.
  • 1972 Works in the auditing department of Mexican retailer Sanborn's.
  • 1977 Graduates from college; takes a job at Arthur Andersen.
  • 1981 Begins work as an import manager at Grupo Elektra.
  • 1987 Becomes chairman and CEO of Grupo Elektra.
  • 1993 With investors, acquires TV stations from Mexican government.
  • 1997 Grupo Elektra opens first outlets outside Mexico.
  • 2002 Grupo Elektra gets into banking, opens 800 Banco Azteca offices.