The most unusual billionaires



After the magazine Forbes publishes its next list of billionaires, immediately begin counting – how many rich people in a particular country or city, how many of them are single and married, how many men or women and where the state came from.

It turned out that in the last list most of the billionaires, 139 people with a capital of 526 billion, are engaged in the investment business, followed by a group of 129 people with a capital of 628 billion who earned on trade and fashion, and third place – 91 people and 398 billion are occupied by those who control the energy sector.


The list of billionaires turned out to be a lot of realtors, financiers, miners and metallurgists. However, among all the abundance of rich people there are those whose experience is unique. The empires arose in rare areas, and the replenishment of bank accounts was facilitated by unusual occupations. We will tell below about ten such billionaires.

The most unusual billionaires

Sweets and cement.

Aliko Dangote is the richest inhabitant of Africa. Its capital is estimated at 13.8 billion, in the Forbes list it ranks 51st. Dangote is called the Nigerian Sugar King. It is believed that he is the businessman with the fastest growing capital. Over the past year, it has increased almost 5 times! Such growth was possible due to the entry of the cement company Dangote to the stock exchange. But its capitalization accounted for a quarter of the entire stock market of the country. And it all began in 1977 with the creation of a small trading company. Over time, it transformed into a huge conglomerate. The company Dangote first became the main sugar producer for local producers of beverages, sweets and beers, and then underwent a cement business not only for Nigeria but also for neighboring Benin and Ghana. Today, new enterprises are appearing in Tanzania, the Congo, Ethiopia and Zambia, and discharge terminals in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The entrepreneur’s success would be unthinkable without the support of politicians. In 2003, he supported the ruling People’s Democratic Party and its representative, President Olusegun Obasanjo, in the repeated elections. This measure cost Dangote $ 200 million. And with the next President of the country, Umaru Musa Yar-Adua, the businessman is on good terms. At present, Dangote Group companies occupy a dominant position in the Nigerian markets of salt, rice, textiles, mastering the oil and gas and transport industries in passing. Sam billionaire for his 54-year-old birthday made himself a gift – a brand new Bombardier aircraft, the cost of 45 million dollars. There were also rumors that the African is planning to acquire a stake in the London football club Arsenal, but this was not confirmed.

The most unusual billionaires

Friend tree.

IOI Group of Malaysian billionaire Li Shin Cheng started with the production of palm oil. This product is used in the food, cosmetic and even metallurgical industries. The company eventually became the largest producer in the world, and its owner in the ranking of “Forbes” with 5 billion settled in 208 place. The IOI group is also a well-known developer in Europe, the USA, Indonesia and Malaysia. Li was born in the family of a small Chinese shopkeeper, the future businessman’s childhood was spent on a rubber plantation. The boy was forced to leave school at the age of 11 to start helping his family. As a result, he received a secondary education, but lost the contest for the place of the manager of the palm plantation in the firm Dunlop Estate. The young man was explained that for this he is too fluent in English. It took only 20 years, and Li Shin Cheng acquired the ownership of a company that had once rejected it. It was the happiest day of his life. The billionaire calls palm trees that gave him wealth, his “girlfriends.” Journalists, and competitors noted the businessman’s constant hikes along his plantations, awarding the nickname “tree charmer.”

The most unusual billionaires

Lady of fragrance.

When the owner of the Hong Kong company Huabao International, Chu Lan Yu, appeared in the 2008 Forbes rating, albeit on the 408th place, many became interested in it. Then the 38-year-old business lady settled down on line 760 with a capital of 1.3 billion. Now it is already with its 2.8 billion already 409th and is one of the youngest representatives of the honorary list. The woman did not receive a rich inheritance, having managed to build her own business. It took her only ten years, and she began with the trade of condiments and perfume business. Over time, Chu created an entire investment empire. The woman, as before, remains a non-public person, but she skillfully attracts investors with assets focused on China’s growing domestic demand. Numerous successful transactions have proved that a woman is an excellent business strategist. Numerous subsidiaries of its holding company produce perfumes, tobacco and food flavors, as well as fragrances for cleaning products.

The most unusual billionaires

The road to wealth on the elevator.

Finnish billionaire Anti Herlin earned his capital in the simplest way – he inherited it. Now he has his 1.9 billion on 651 places in the Forbes rating. Father Anti received his capital from his father, and the latter from his own, Harold Herlin. In 1924, he bought the firm KONE, which produces elevators. Today, it is Hunti owns 20% of its economic interest and 60% of voting shares. Herlin could have had more, but decided to share his father’s capital with his brothers and sisters. The father of the billionaire became famous for having written a book about him. Journalist John Simon in his “Prince KONE” said that the owner of the company, Pekki, was the most real workaholic, tirelessly developing the family business. But this was combined with his extreme despotism, aggravated by mental disorders. The Finn’s favorite film was The Godfather, and the ideal relationship was the one that was in the Mafia. There, in honor, there was blind devotion to the family. The head of KONE at the end of his life rewrote his will, leaving all the elder son of Anti. Probably, he seemed the most devoted family business. But Anti did not become greedy, sharing the inheritance with his brothers and sisters, making them multimillionaires and preventing a family quarrel.

The most unusual billionaires

Walking in the rain.

The last year was quite successful for the Chinese landscape architect He Chiaonu. It was able to double its capital and now with 1.6 billion is ranked 782 in the prestigious list. He Chiaonu is president and owner of Beijing Orient Landscape. Since 2009, its holding company is present on the Shenzhen Exchange, and the share of the business lady in it is 72%. The reason for the success is simple: a new class of rich people has appeared in China, which in every possible way strives to make their vacation modern, but leave local specifics in it. For this, the company employs 400 designers who skillfully build golf courses into landscapes, as if descended from medieval drawings. The very same billionaire likes simple and natural things – she loves to walk in the rain.

The most unusual billionaires

The shadow billionaire.

To make billions with the help of the shadow was able to Dutchman Ralph Sonnenberg. Its capital is now 1.6 billion, which allowed to settle at 782 place “Forbes”. The company, which became the basis of capital, was founded back in 1919 by Henry Sonnenberg, the father of a billionaire. At first she was engaged in the production of mechanical tools, but soon the owner managed to create a new technology for the production of aluminum plates for Venetian blinds. Without thinking twice, Henry redesigned his company. Today, the Hunter Douglas group includes 164 production, assembly and marketing companies in more than 100 countries around the world. Recently, the corporation made an unusual move – it announced that from June 1, 2010, it stops any sales on the Internet. The firm is confident that no virtual service can compete with real offices and their high service.It was Hunter Douglas who installed blinds and ceiling systems during the construction of the world’s tallest Burj Khalifa building in Dubai. Known criminal code.

As you know, the criminal code must be honored. And American lawyer Joe Jamail also knows the laws well. This allowed him to take 833 place in the Forbes rating with 1.5 billion. It’s no accident that Joe is called the “King of the Civil Code.” The demand for a lawyer is so high that he can afford to reject hundreds of the most high-profile cases he has offered without even reading them. More recently, Jamaile was offered numerous suits against BP, which spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico. But the lawyer refused, referring to his employment. Joe’s glory was brought to the case in 1985, when he took part in the trial between the oil giants Pennzoil and Texaco. This claim went down in history as the most expensive. As a result, Texaco forked up 11 billion, and the share of the lucky lawyer was as much as 335 million dollars! It was thanks to Jamail that unsafe products left the market, such as the Remington 600 rifle, Honda’s three-wheeled off-road vehicle and the Parlodel drug. The lawyer has more than 200 won cases of personal injury, the amount of compensation for each amounted to more than $ 1 million. Joe was nosy from childhood, even his own mother described him as a boy, with whom she, if someone else, would not advise her children to play. Joe Jamail wrote about himself the book “Advocate. My courts and victories. ” In the preface to it, the publishers wrote: “His acquaintances called him” savior, “” philanthropist, “” good guy, “and” son of a bitch, “but no one ever considered it boring.”

The most unusual billionaires

A fairy tale in the book and in reality.

Who has not read or heard Harry Potter stories today? Everybody has a name for the author of this series, Joan Rowling. It with its capital of 1 billion is located at 1140 rankings. Once the mother of a loner lived in extreme need with a little daughter, today her fees for books about the wizard boy will last for the rest of her life. But there are also movies, souvenirs and even a whole amusement park in Orlando, dedicated to Harry. Books, telling about the life in the school of magic Hogwarts, came out with a total circulation of 400 million copies. This story was translated into 60 languages, including Latin and Ancient Greek. After the release of the first book of the series in 1998, the shares of the American publisher grew by 50%. The fairy tale entered the life of the writer not only in the form of a book. She finally found happiness in her personal life, remarrying in 2001 and giving birth to two more children.

The most unusual billionaires

Precious eggs.

In 2007, former deputy chairman of Naftogaz Ukraine Oleg Bakhmatyuk unexpectedly sold his shares in profitable gas distribution companies. He decided to leave the business, which depends so much on politics. In return, Oleg decided to focus on the eggs that he bought four years before, which was located in his native Ivano-Frankivsk. Today the capital of Bakhmatiuk is exactly 1 billion, in the Forbes list it is located at 1140 place. Oleg was able to create a whole egg empire, which included 19 poultry farms, 6 factories producing feed for them, 3 breeding units for breeding birds, as well as 3 egg stores and 9 farms throughout Ukraine. In 2009, the businessman held an IPO of his agroholding “Avangard” on the London Stock Exchange. This gave him the opportunity to sell 20% of his shares for $ 210 million. Thus, the cost of the whole business was one billion. Most of the eggs in the Ukrainian market are produced by small farmers, but Bakhmatyuk estimates that his company produces a quarter of the total volume, besides having occupied half of the market for egg products. The former gas specialist was so carried away by his new direction that the country’s market is already scarce – 17% of the output goes for export. The billionaire tells that he is aimed at the Asian and Middle Eastern markets, since they need proteins.

The most unusual billionaires


Scary shorty.

In the list of “Forbes” are mostly respectable people who do not have thievery nicknames. True, this does not apply to the Mexican Joaquin Guzman Loeer. This drug baron has a billion dollars and occupies the same 1140 place. Loera enters the cartel of Sinaloa, and for his appearance, he received the nickname El Chapo, or “shorty.” It is believed that this group supplies about a quarter of the total amount of drugs in the United States. The appearance of “Shorties” in such a respectable list by a businessman, managers and rentiers caused a real scandal. One of the participants demanded to exclude their name from the rating, and the Mexican government called an insult such a mention of the drug baron. But the magazine “Time” reasonably suggested that the rating takes into account only the size of wealth, not its origin. Thus, the logical principle according to which Guzman was included in the list of billionaires is logical. And not the first was Gusman among his “colleagues” in the rating of “Forbes”. Until 1993, there was the name of the Colombian drug dealer Pablo Escobar, until he died in a skirmish with the police. The Gusman cartel has become the most influential since the boss was able to be taken out of prison in 2001 in a car with dirty underwear. Sinaloa is now the main supplier of drugs from Central America to the North. Experts believe that over the past years more than $ 20 billion of wholesale turnover has been laundered. But not everyone regards Guzman as a monster. So, in his native province of Sinaloa, he is perceived rather like Robin Hood, who, with the money he has earned, “tidies up cities and … cemeteries” (quote from the Chicago Tribune). True, the local population is most intimidated – the cartel destroys the enemies’ bodies in a bath with acid.



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