Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#495 Bill Koch $3.90B

Random fact: Bought the only known photograph of Billy the Kid for $2.3 million.

Overview

Koch is founder and chief executive of Oxbow, a closely held commodities and resources business with revenue of $2 billion in 2016. The West Palm Beach, Florida-based company has offices in more than 20 countries. It's involved in the marketing and production of coal and is the world's largest producer of calcined coke.

As of July 28, 2017:
Last change No change
YTD change -$229M (-5.6%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship United States
Age 77
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Bill Koch's net worth of $3.90B 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 Koch's fortune is derived from the proceeds of the sale of his stake in Koch Industries to his brothers, David and Charles, for $435 million in 1983. The value of his investments has been adjusted for taxes and market performance.

Koch owns 80 percent of Oxbow, a closely held commodities marketing and mining company based in Palm Beach, Florida. It's the world's biggest producer of calcined coke, according to its website. Oxbow had sales of $2 billion in the year ended Sept. 30, 2016, according to a research report by Moody's Investors Service. The company's valuation is based on the average of price-to-sales multiples of three publicly traded peer companies: Glencore International, Mitsui and Mitsubishi.

The billionaire's real estate in Colorado and Florida is valued on 2015 assessor valuations and a house in Massachusetts is valued on a New York Times report of its purchase price.

Brad Goldstein, a spokesman for Koch at Oxbow, declined to comment on Koch's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 5/3/1940
Family: Married, 6 children
Education: 1971, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Doctorate Degree 1963, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Master's Degree 1962, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bachelor's Degree Culver Military Academy, Graduated

Bill Koch was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1940. His father, Fred Koch, co-founded an engineering company in 1925 that specialized in oil refining and oil-related processes. His older brother Charles took over the company on their father's death in 1967, rechristening it Koch Industries. Bill joined Koch Industries in 1970, and received a doctorate degree in chemical engineering from MIT the following year.

A fraternal feud erupted in 1980, when Bill and his older brother Frederick tried to unseat Charles as CEO in a failed boardroom coup. The duo agreed to sell their shares back to the company for $1.1 billion in 1983, of which $435 million went to Bill. They sued two years later claiming they were underpaid. A 15-year legal battle ensued that was ultimately decided in favor of Charles and David, Bill's twin brother, in 2000.

After selling his stake in Koch Industries, Bill started Oxbow in 1983, in Dover, Massachusetts. Over the next three decades, he developed the company into a mining and commodities marketing firm. Other accomplishments include winning the Americas Cup, the world's oldest sailing race, in 1992, and building a Wild West town in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. He's also a collector of maritime and Western memorabilia.

Koch lives in Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife, Bridget. The couple have six children from different marriages.

Milestones
  • 1970 Starts working at Koch Industries.
  • 1980 Attempts to wrest control of company from older brother Charles.
  • 1983 Sells shares back to the company for $435 million.
  • 1983 Founds energy company Oxbow in Dover, Massachusetts.
  • 1985 Sues Koch Industries with brother Frederick over value of stake.
  • 1992 Wins America Cup with his yacht America3.
  • 2001 Loses lawsuit against Koch Industries.
  • 2012 Denies imprisoning a former executive on his Colorado ranch.