Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#492 Bill Goldring $3.93B

Random fact: Fireball whisky sales have grown more than 3,600 percent since 2009.

Overview

Goldring is chairman and owner of Sazerac, the second largest spirits producer in the U.S. Its brands include Southern Comfort, Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, Fris vodka and Fireball cinnamon whisky, the fastest growing spirit in the U.S. He also owns has ownership interest in beer distributors along the gulf coast.

As of July 26, 2017:
Last change No change
YTD change No change
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Sazerac Co.
Citizenship United States
Age 73
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Bill Goldring's net worth of $3.93B 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:

The majority of Goldring's net worth is derived from his ownership of Sazerac, the second largest spirits producer in the U.S. following its 2016 acquisition of Southern Comfort, according to Euromonitor. Goldring's credited with all of the business, based on a 2009 deposition made in a case concerning the price paid to Goldring in the sale of Sunbelt Beverage distribution company in which he detailed how he acquired Sazerac from his father and a partner.

Sazerac is valued at $3.6 billion, the bottom end of a range provided in a November 2016 valuation opinion from Patrick Anderson, chief executive officer of East Landsing, Michigan-based Anderson Economic Group, a consulting firm with a specialty in valuing alcohol businesses. Sazerac could be valued as high as $4.5 billion, according to Anderson, if it was publicly traded or put up for sale.

The value of his interest in beer distributors Goldring/Moffett Distributing and Goldring Gulf Distributing Company LLC is based on the $1.50 per case in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) seen by similar large distributors and the 10- to 12-times EBIT multiple that distributors fetch in private market sales, according to an industry executive who has sold distributors to Goldring and asked not to be named because the assets are closely held.

Goldring owns half of Goldring/Moffett, which has annual volume of 33.5 million cases in its territories in Phoenix, and Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana, according to the industry executive. He also owns 25 percent of Goldring Gulf, according to Rebecca Maisel, an attorney for Gulf Distribution Company LLC, the parent company of Goldring Gulf. Goldring Gulf sells about 13.5 million cases annually, according to the distributing industry executive.

The billionaire declined to comment on his net worth through Sazerac public relations officer Amy Preske.

Biography

Birthdate: 1943
Family: Unknown, No children
Education: 1964, Tulane University, Business Administration, Bachelor's Degree

William Goldring was born in 1943 in New Orleans. He attended Newman High School and was a starting forward on the team's state championship basketball team in 1961. 

He began working in his family's liquor distribution business after graduating from Tulane University in 1964. His father, Stephen, initially discouraged him from joining. "I told him, `Well, I’ll take my chances,' '' William Goldring said at the time, according to a May 2012 article in My New Orleans magazine.  

He had been appointed chief operating officer at the company by 1972. While overseeing the distribution arm, he began buying shares in Sazerac, a liquor producer, in 1984. Sazerac was founded in 1850 as a coffee shop and is named after a cocktail that’s become a classic in New Orleans. Goldring eventually acquired the whole company.

The billionaire rarely gives interviews and does not have a prominent profile on his company's website. Most interviews he gives are to local press and typically focus on philanthropy.

When his father died in 1996, Goldring put the multi-million-dollar estate in into a family foundation. Donations by the Goldring Family Foundation include a $500,000 gift to the Louisville Zoo in 2014. Most of its focus has been on supporting Louisiana cultural, educational and religious groups, according to tax returns. He's also chairman of the Woldenberg Foundation, named after his father's business partner, Malcolm Woldenberg.

He has three children and lives in New Orleans. Sazerac spokeswoman Amy Preske declined to confirm Goldring's marital status in a December 2016 phone call.

Milestones
  • 1943 William Goldring is born in New Orleans.
  • 1944 Father Stephen founds Magnolia Liquor.
  • 1964 Graduates from Tulane University in three years.
  • 1982 Succeeds father as president of Magnolia Liquor.
  • 1984 Begins buying shares in Sazerac.
  • 1991 Named chairman of Magnolia Liquor.
  • 2014 Fireball whisky becomes best-selling liqueur in the U.S.
  • 2016 Sazerac purchases Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands for $544 million