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#264 Theo Mueller $6.16B

Random fact: Inherited company when it was a dairy with a staff of four in 1971.

Overview

Mueller is the sole owner of Unternehmensgruppe Theo Mueller, a Luxembourg-based dairy-goods manufacturer. He inherited the four-person dairy from his father in 1971, and expanded it into a multinational business with about 27,000 employees and revenue of 5.6 billion euros ($6.3 billion), according to its website.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change -$13.6M (-0.2%)
YTD change +$487M (+8.6%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Theo Mueller Unternehmensgruppe
Citizenship Germany
Age 76
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Theo Mueller's net worth of $6.16B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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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:

Mueller's fortune comes from his sole ownership of Unternehmensgruppe Theo Mueller, the dairy-goods maker he began managing in 1971. The Luxembourg-based company employs about 27,000 people and has annual revenue of about 5.6 billion euros ($6.3 billion), according to its website in September 2017.

Its valued based on the average enterprise value-to-sales multiples of four publicly traded peer companies: Parmalat, Emmi, Dairy Crest Group and Savencia. Price-to-earnings was removed as a valuation metric on Oct. 3, 2017 to reduce volatility in the calculation. Dairy Crest Group and Savencia were added to the peer group on this date to better reflect the company's product mix.

Carolin Kossin, a spokeswoman for Theo Mueller, declined to comment on the calculation of the billionaire's fortune.

Biography

Birthdate: 1940
Family: Married, 9 children
Education: Business, Graduated

Theo Mueller was born in Aretsried, Germany, in 1940, a village west of Munich, where the family-owned dairy was first established in 1896. Mueller took over the business when it was just a four-person dairy in 1971.

Over the next four decades, he expanded the company through acquisitions, including the purchase of Saxons, E. Rehkopf and seafood chain Nordsee. The company has about 25,000 employees, according to its website on Jan. 7, 2016.

Mueller survived a kidnapping attempt when a pistol and electrical-shock equipment were held to his head in 1995, according to the transcript of an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published on Mueller Group's website. He jumped out of the car and went back to his office that same afternoon.

He announced that he would move his family to Switzerland to avoid 30 percent inheritance tax, in 2003.

The billionaire has nine children, seven from his first marriage to Hanna Bittman, and two daughters with Ines Huevel, his partner since 2003. He lives in Switzerland, near lake Zurich.

Milestones
  • 1896 Ludwig Mueller starts a village dairy in Aretsried, Germany.
  • 1938 Alois Muller, Theo's father, takes over the dairy.
  • 1971 Theo Mueller gains control of the four-person dairy.
  • 1987 Mueller enters the U.K. market.
  • 2008 Begins selling yoghurts in Israel, Czech Republic and Romania.
  • 2012 Buys Robert Wiseman Dairies in its biggest acquisition to date.
  • 2014 Commissions a new gas and steam power plant for own use.
  • 2015 Acquires the fresh milk business of British Dairy Crest