Hidden Billionaire Moratti Brothers Time Saras IPO Right

Timing was of the essence for Italy’s billionaire Moratti brothers, who sold 40 percent of refiner Saras SpA just as the European oil business began to falter.

The CHART OF THE DAY maps the mostly cash fortunes of Gian Marco Moratti, 77, and Massimo Moratti, 68, against the Milan-based company’s share price from its initial public offering in May 2006. The company was founded by their father in 1962, who opened its Sarroch refinery on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia three years later. Since its offering, the business has suffered with other European refineries on declining demand, closures and shrinking margins.

“The IPO timing might have been a stroke of genius,” Jeffrey Kerr, managing analyst covering downstream oil and gas at researcher GlobalData, said by phone from New York. “The Morattis managed to cash in just as the industry in Europe began to see its fortunes erode.”

The brothers owned all of Saras before the offering. The siblings collected 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) selling shares during the IPO, and still control a 50 percent stake now valued at $556 million. They have a combined net worth of $3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Neither has appeared on an international wealth ranking. The Saras press office in Milan didn’t respond to e-mail and phone messages requesting comment.

Inter Milan

Gian Marco Moratti has a net worth of $1.9 billion. Massimo Moratti, who spent more than 700 million euros on soccer team FC Internazionale Milano SpA, according to James Horncastle, an analyst for U.K. broadcaster BT Sport, has a $1.1 billion fortune. He sold a controlling stake in the team in October to a group of Indonesian investors that included billionaire Erick Thohir. His remaining 30 percent interest is valued at around $160 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg net worth calculation allocates the brothers’ cash portfolios in a blend of fixed income and cash-related investments, equities, hedge funds and gold, an investment profile typical of a wealthy individual, according to Lukas Doerig, head of portfolio management at Zurich-based Marcuard Family Office.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York and listed in U.S. dollars.

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