European money is on the move. Reinhard Mohns Bertelsmann is forking over $1.4 billion for U.S. publisher Random House. Dieter von Holtzbrinck is assembling highbrow book publishers in New York and Boston. The brothers Albrecht are building more Aldi Stores on Main Street, U.S.A. August von Finck just upped his stake in San Francisco-based Homestake Mining. The Germans arent the only ones looking across the Atlantic for investment opportunities. With the European stock markets booming, and much of Asia still in flux, the rallying cry is, Go West!

By Ashlea Ebeling, Stephan Herrera, Paul Klebnikov, Katarzyna Moreno, Juliette Rossant, Dolly Setton, Cristina von Zeppelin and Caroline Waxler Austria Ferdinand Piech And Family Net worth: $5.5 billion Billionaire in the news.

See page 217.


Maersk Mc-Kinney Mller
Net worth: $2.4 billion
Claim to Fame: Denmark’s “Rockefeller,” this 84-year-old heads and controls A. P. Mller, a global shipping, oil and gas concern.
Assets: A.P. Mller sales rose 25% last year, to $6 billion. Profits failed to keep pace, increasing 10%, to $371 million, hurt in part by a stronger dollar. Investing in oil exploration in Qatar and Algeria.
Time off: Sailing his Swan 60 yacht.

Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen
Net worth: $2.3 billion
Claim to fame: Third-generation owner of Lego, the company that’s made interlocking plastic toy bricks since 1949. Now betting the future on Lego robots — new programmable bricks with built-in microchips.
Assets: All of private Lego Group, sales of which stagnated at $1.1 billion last year while profits plummeted 87%, to a mere $9 million, as computer-driven toys reigned. Look for Star Wars construction sets in 1999.
Time off: Horse breeding on Funen, a Danish island.


Gerard Mulliez And Family
Net worth: $10.3 billion
Claim to fame: Second-generation head of secretive family retail empire. “When you join the Mulliez clan, it’s like joining a religious community,” Gerard’s son told a French newspaper.
Assets: With some 350 family members, owns 85% of $24.6 billion (sales) hypermarket giant Auchan. New stores in Thailand, Mexico and Hungary in the past year; 201 outposts worldwide. Other holdings include home improvement, mail order, sporting goods outfits.
Time off: Helping youth fight drugs and AIDS through the Auchan Foundation.

Francois Pinault
Net worth: $6.6 billion
One of FORBES’ top ten entrepreneurs. See page 190.

Bernard Arnault
Net worth: $3.6 billion
Claim to fame: Tough dealmaker, tough year. Lost battle to merge the LVMH drinks unit with Grand Metropolitan and Guinness.
Assets: 22% of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (sales: $7.9 billion). Troubles at DFS duty-free shopping unit made stock one of worst French performers in 1997. Now on the rebound, helped by successful relaunch of designer labels Givenchy and Christian Dior with new British designers.
Time off: Avid tennis player.

Gerard Louis-Dreyfus And Family
Net worth: $2.9 billion
Claim to fame: Goes by Grard in Europe, William in the U.S., and leads French trading giant S.A. Louis Dreyfus & Cie. from twin headquarters in Paris and New York.
Assets: With six family members, owns 100% of the eponymous commodities trading company. Firm’s diverse interests range from orange juice processing to Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Time off: Trustee of the Poetry Society of America.

Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermes And Family
Net worth: $2.2 billion
Claim to fame: Chairman of Herms International, famous for its classic Kelly bags and richly patterned silk scarves and ties. He brought in Martin Margiela, a modernist designer of women’s ready-to-wear who’s making waves.
Assets: Family owns 80% of Herms International. Shares dropped 40% between July and October 1997 because recession in Asia threatens major source of revenues, but has since rebounded 30%.
Time off: Keeps a leather-covered journal in his breast pocket, for watercolors and notes.

Alain Wertheimer
Net worth: $2.1 billion
Claim to fame: Owner and chairman of Chanel, the legendary fashion house. Looking to Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel’s passion for camellias, he had Karl Lagerfeld design the Garden of Chanel at London’s Chelsea Flower Show.
Assets: Insisting luxury businesses best left private, the family owns 100% of the fashion maison.
Time off: Visiting his Bordeaux vineyard, Chteau Rausan-Segla.

Michel David-Weill
Net worth: $1.6 billion
Claim to fame: After departure of some high-profile bankers, fighting hard to keep his Lazard Frres an independent M&A player in a market dominated by public behemoths.
Assets: Family owns part of, and controls, Lazard’s New York, Paris and London houses. With $216 billion in announced deals in 1997, Lazard had 13% of worldwide M&A market, a fourth-place ranking.
Time off: Serves as a trustee of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Sir Evelyn And Baron David De Rothschild And Family
Net worth: $1.8 billion
Claim to fame: Global financiers. Sir Evelyn heads the London branch, cousin Baron David the Parisian. This year the British side celebratedbicentennial of Nathan Mayer Rothschild’s arrival in England. French cousin Baron Edmond died last year at age 71, leaving son Benjamin to take over.
Assets: Estimated 53% of Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG, Swiss parent of banking interests anchored by London’s NM Rothschild & Sons. Not counted:Assets outside control of Evelyn, David and cousin Baron Eric, who oversees Chteau Lafite vineyard.
Time off: Horse racing and the arts for Evelyn; David is fond of golf.

Karl And Theo Albrecht And Family
Net worth: $11.7 billion
Claim to fame: Theo’s sons, Theo Jr. and Berthold, run the show at Aldi, Europe’s top private-label, deep-discount food retailer. Formula? Buy cheap land on city fringe, build cheap, superstore-size warehouses, stock dimly lit caverns with pallets full of products in bulk. Making headway selling generic private-label drugs.
Assets: 100% of Aldi Group, with 4,000 stores in Europe and 509 stores in U.S. — and they want more. Aggressively expanding in the U.K. and U.S. Plus an 11% stake in Boise, Idaho-based Albertson’s grocery chain.

Dietmar Hopp
Net worth: $7.9 billion
Billionaire in the news. See page 216.

Hasso Plattner
Net worth: $6.9 billion
One of FORBES’ top ten entrepreneurs. See page 190.

Albrecht Woeste And Henkel Family
Net worth: $5.6 billion
Claim to fame: Albrecht Woeste, great-grandson of the founder, Fritz Henkel, remains the family patriarch at specialty chemical firm Henkel KGaA. But a younger generation is rising. Christoph Henkel, 38, serves on influential Shareholders’ Committee and helped engineer last year’s billion-dollar Loctite acquisition, the company’s largest yet.
Assets: About 60 family members, sprinkled among 3 clans, share majority interest in Henkel, which makes everything from adhesives to detergents and dish soap. Profits rose 36% last year, despite Asia crisis and industry overcapacity.

Erivan Haub And Family
Net worth: $5.5 billion
Claim to fame: The head of Tengelmann, Germany’s fourth-largest retailer, is combating Germany’s weak consumer climate and strong branch competition by putting stores in eastern and southern Europe.
Assets: Family owns 100% of Tengelmann Group (sales: $29.6 billion) and 54% of U.S. supermarket chain A&P. Time off: Last fall St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia dedicated the Erivan K. Haub School of Business to Haub, 65, a longtime benefactor.Otto Beisheim Net worth: $5.3 billion
Claim to fame: Owns lucrative stakes in Switzerland-based holding company, Metro Group, and Germany-based Metro AG, one of Europe’s largest retailers. Beisheim, 74, played behind-the-scenes role in Metro’s $2.7 billion acquisition last year of Makro, the Dutch hypermarket chain.
Assets: Owns 22% of Metro AG, 7% of Metro Group and vast landholdings throughout Europe and North America. Reportedly invested $1 billion to help pal Leo Kirch (see) as he struggles to build a pay TV empire. Hans

Joachim Langmann And Family
Net worth: $5.2 billion
Claim to Fame: Langmann, 73, shows no sign of stepping down as head of pharmaceutical and specialty chemical maker Merck KGaA. The company, which operates in 47 countries (but split from U.S. Merck & Co. during WWI), has benefited from boom in German chemical industry. Sales rose 15% in 1997, to $4.5 billion.
Assets: The family’s 75% of Merck KGaA is split among nearly 100 family members.
Time off: Likes to hike and swim. Lover of Chinese art.

Michael Otto
Net worth: $5.1 billion
Claim to fame: This head of the Otto Group, the world’s largest mail order concern, is going higher tech: launched shopping via CD-ROMs and put full catalog on the Internet.
Assets: Family owns 65% of catalog company Otto Versand, plus New Jersey-based Spiegel Inc. Bought majority of U.S. home furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel Co. in February.
Time off: A confirmed environmentalist, Otto, 55, also supports medical research and Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum.

August And Wilhelmvon Finck
Net worth: $4.5 billion
Claim to fame: August, 69, and Wilhelm, 71, the patriarchs; heir Francois now the family’s active investor. Fortune originated with stakes in Merck and giant insurer Allianz. Today they have stakes in firms such as German brewer Löwenbräu, Swiss hotel and restaurant chain Mövenpick.
Assets: About 90% of Custodia Holding AG (Lwenbru). Through Carlton Holding, 70% voting control of Mvenpick; 50% of wholesalerFamila Handels.

Stefan Schorghuber
Net worth: $4 billion
Claim to fame: This heir to the real estate and brewing empire of Joseph Schrghuber, the “Bavarian Goldfinger,” is on the move. Formed venture with ITT Sheraton to manage and develop hotels in Germany, Switzerland and Spain.
Assets: Family owns prime real estate in Munich, a property development outfit, the Arabella hotel chain and breweries including Paulaner, one of Germany’s best-known brands.
Time off: Schrghuber, 36, supports a modern art museum in Munich and a program of free vacations for needy children.

Gunter Herz And Family
Net worth: $3.7 billion
Claim to fame: Herz, 57, runs coffee and cigarette maker Tchibo Holding AG, now also one of Germany’s ten largest textile concerns, selling consumer items through its Tchibo coffee shops.
Assets: Family owns all of Tchibo Holding AG, 26% of skin care products maker Beiersdorf AG and 75% of Reemtsma, the cigarette company.
Time off: Besides raising horses, Herz hosts the yearly Davidoff Prize for musicians at his farm outside Hamburg.

Reinhard Mohn And Family
Net worth: $3 billion
Claim to fame: Though officially retired, helped guide Bertelsmann’s $1.4 billion bid for Random House, the crown jewel in U.S. publishing, rattling the industry last spring. Also orchestrated an unlikely truce with archrival Leo Kirch (see) last year to create a digital pay TV station. But European trustbusters quashed the deal in May.
Assets: Family owns 20% of media giant Bertelsmann AG. Mohn, 76, holds one golden share that controls all voting shares. Time off: Funds research on the integration of high tech and academia.

Rudolf Oetker And Family
Net worth: $3 billion
Claim to fame: At 81, Rudolf, “the grand old man,” still keeps an office at Oetker Group, the breweries-to-shipping conglomerate now run by sons August, Christian and Richard.
Assets: Family owns all of $4.5 billion (sales) Oetker Group, which is aiming to become a global player in baked goods and frozen pizza. Plus commercial and residential real estate in the U.S., resort hotels in France and Switzerland.
Time off: Tending a vast art collection. Last year built a posh old folks home in Bielefeld, not far from company headquarters.

Leo And Thomas Kirch
Net worth: $3 billion
Claim to fame: Papa Leo, 71, is reportedly losing a billion a year trying to build a digital pay-TV empire. Son Thomas, 40, once dismissed as Leo’s lackey, turned around ailing commercial TV giant ProSieben. Took it public last summer; profits up 50%, stock’s flat.
Assets: With 60% of ProSieben, Thomas is a billionaire in his own right. Dad has tangled web of European TV and film programming, production and licensing firms, including SAT1, DSF (sports TV), Premier (pay TV), and 40% of Axel Springer Verlag, one of Europe’s largest newspaper chains.

Dieter Von Holtzbrinck And Family
Net worth: $2.8 billion
See page 217. New billionaire.

Gerhard Schmid
Net worth: $1.6 billion
See page 218. New billionaire.


Spiro Latsis
Net worth: $3.1 billion
Claim to fame: Shipper by inheritance, banker by nature. Sold 6 supertankers for $130 million, but Latsis, 51, still ranks among top 30 Greek shipowners. Focus now on building a European-wide banking empire.
Assets: His European Financial Group has assets of $4.4 billion, banks in the U.K., Switzerland, Greece, Monaco, the Channel Islands.
Time off: Lent his 397-foot yacht, Alexander, to Prince Charles and Lady Di for their second honeymoon.

Ireland Anthony O’Reilly
Net worth: $1.5 billion
Claim to fame: The flamboyant O’Reilly, 62, stepped down last April as chief executive of food giant Heinz after 18 years. Active in Ireland: His Dublin-based Independent Newspapers took control of the Independent in Britain.
Assets: Chairs Irish china and crystal maker Waterford Wedgwood and Independent Newspapers. Has stakes in several posh Irish hotels.
Time off: Horse breeding and racing; entertaining at castles in Ireland and France.

Italy Silvio Berlusconi
Net worth: $7 billion
Claim to fame: Three trials on corruption charges and a minor conviction last December haven’t slowed the surge in value of this media baron/politician’s empire. Shares of media outfit Mediaset up 56% since last year.
Assets: Family holding company Fininvest owns 50% of Mediaset, plus stakes in publishing, life insurance and discount retail companies. Despite high-profile talks with Rupert Murdoch, looks like Berlusconi’s not ready to sell Mediaset.
Time off: Retreats to Bermuda hideaway.

Luciano Benetton And Family
Net worth: $4.7 billion Claim to fame: The man who built a sweater shop into variety megastore Benetton Group is now interested in buying state-owned airports and highways.
Assets: 69% of $2 billion (sales) Benetton Group, which acquired Sportsystem — maker of Rollerblade, Nordica, Prince products — from family holding company for $330 million last year. Plus restaurant, supermarket interests and 2.1 million acres of land in Argentina.
Time off: Fan of his Formula 1 racing team.

Leonardo Del Vecchio
Net worth: $4 billion
Claim to fame: From factory floor to chairman of Luxottica Group, the world’s largest maker and retailer of eyeglass frames. Sales hit record last year of $1.6 billion.
Assets: Owns 72% of Luxottica, which in turn owns Lenscrafters in the U.S. Other holdings include stake in Italy’s GS hypermarket chain and 100% of U.S. women’s clothing retailer Casual Corner.
Time off: Playing with 3-year-old son Leonardo Maria, who has 24.4% stake in family holding company.

Gianni Agnelli And Family
Net worth: $2.7 billion
Claim to fame: It makes national headlines when this Italian business patriarch, whose clan controls automaker Fiat, breaks a bone.
Assets: Family owns 19% of $50 billion (sales) Fiat. Heir designate Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, 33, died last December of cancer. They’ve since nominated grandson John Elkann, 22, to the board; brought in new chairman, Paolo Fresco, from General Electric.
Time off: Rooting for his soccer team, Juventus.


Brenninkmeyer Family
Net worth: $4 billion
Claim to fame: Tight-lipped family runs empire of 1,000 privately held retail apparel stores, most targeting thrifty shoppers. Louis Brenninkmeyer, 39, chairs American Retail Group, its U.S. arm; Roland Brenninkmeyer, 51, sits on the board.
Assets: 100% of $1.5 billion (sales) American Retail Group, which owns Eastern Mountain Sports and Levi’s Outpost. Plus $5.5 billion (sales) Amsterdam-based C&A retailers, with stores throughout Europe.

Frits Goldschmeding
Net worth: $2.3 billion
Claim to fame: Goldschmeding’s Amsterdam-based temp agency, Randstad, keeps getting richer. At 65, he’s just retired, but will remain active in joint civic-Randstad job creation ventures.
Assets: Owns 41% of Randstad Holding N.V., stock of which rose over 100% during the past two years.
Time off: Planning to sail around the world this fall on his yacht, Sayonara.


Belmiro De Azevedo
Net worth: $2.1 billion
See page 218. New billionaire.

Alexandre Soares Dos Santos
Net worth: $2 billion
See page 220. New billionaire.


Vladimir Potanin
Net worth: $1.6 billion
One of FORBES‘ top ten entrepreneurs. See page 192.


Emilio Botin And Family
Net worth: $9.2 billion
Claim to fame: Under Chairman Emilio, 63, Grupo Santander continues its aggressive growth. Besides running the largest foreign bank in Latin America, the Botins are now taking on Asia. They picked up the Singapore trading and corporate finance arms of bankrupt Peregrine Securities in April.
Assets: Family is believed to own 25% of Grupo Santander, whose stock has doubled since last year. Also 8% of Bankinter.
Time off: Family sponsors a yearly classical music competition.


Gad Rausing And Family
Net worth: $5 billion
Claim to fame: Controls Tetra Laval, whose Tetra Pak is world’s largest packaging manufacturer and Europe’s largest supplier of cardboard milk cartons. His three children are on the board of directors.
Assets: Owns all of $11.8 billion (revenues) Tetra Laval. Family bought out brother Hans two years ago for an estimated $4.5 billion.
Time off: Swedish media reported that Gad asked to be excused from paying a $5 annual garbage collection fee for a summer home he visits infrequently. Gad denies it.

Stefan Persson
Net worth: $4.4 billion
Claim to fame: Persson, 50, chairs fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz, now aggressively expanding outside Nordic base into France. In April gave up chief executive spot, appointing Fabian Mansson, a 33-year-old amateur rock musician and former purchasing manager.
Assets: 38% of the $2.8 billion (sales) company, stock of which has doubled in the last year. A new law exempting him from wealth tax quelled rumors about moving headquarters outside of Sweden.
Time off: His new 3,000-acre estate in Wiltshire, U.K., complete with 13th-century chapel and 17th-century priory.

Ingvar Kamprad
Net worth: $2.6 billion
Claim to fame: Founder and head of the Ikea furniture empire, which opened a store in Shanghai, China in March. Also introduced prefab, 500-square-foot Ikea homes, targeting single-parent households in Sweden.
Assets: Controls $5.9 billion (sales) furniture giant Ikea, receives royalties on sales through InterIkea. Family investment company Ikano has interests in banking, real estate and insurance.
Time off: Cooking, gardening, visiting his winery in Provence.


Pierre Landolt And Family
Net worth: $6.5 billion
Claim to fame: The heirs of Swiss drug giant Sandoz’s founder are turning a sleepy family foundation, headed by Pierre, 50, into an aggressive investment vehicle with stakes in telecom and financial services.
Assets: Bulk of wealth from 4% stake of Novartis, the result of Sandoz/Ciba-Geigy merger. Other holdings include a private bank, a Brazilian brokerage.
Time off: Pierre, who spends half the year in Brazil, tends to his organic “French cheese” farm.

Stephan Schmidheiny
Net worth: $4.1 billion
Claim to fame: Individual investor-cum-environmental crusader. Founded the Business Council for Sustainable Development. Brother of Thomas (see).
Assets: Over 4% of ABB, parent of Swiss-Swedish Asea Brown Boveri. Stakes in U.S. and Swiss blue chips. Has invested $750 million in South American forestry, water transportation and housing.
Time off: Through his Avina foundation, Schmidheiny, 50, funds and advises South American entrepreneurs on sustainable development.

Ernesto Bertarelli
Net worth: $4 billion
Claim to fame: At 32, one of the youngest chairmen of a major pharmaceutical firm. Has big shoes to fill: Father, Fabio, 73, died in January.
Assets: Family owns 72% of $864 million (sales) Ares-Serono, the world leader in products to treat infertility. Share price has tripled since Ernesto took over in 1996. Continues push into biotechnology.
Time off: Sails around Lake Geneva in his yellow catamaran preparing for the Bol d’Or race, which he won last year.

Martin Ebner
Net worth: $2.9 billion
Claim to fame: Swiss counterpart to U.S. activist shareholder Michael Price. Ebner, 52, played important role in last year’s mergers of UBS and Swiss Bank (UBS stock surged 70% last year), and Credit Suisse and Winterthur Insurance.
Assets: Owns an estimated 75% of his BZ Group Holding, which has stakes in Swiss blue-chip companies like ABB, Alusuisse-Lonza, and Roche. Now moving into Germany with stake in Hoechst.
Time off: Pals around with Christoph Blocher.

Thomas Schmidheiny
Net worth: $2.5 billion
Claim to fame: At 52, heads up Holderbank, the world’s largest cement company, now in 55 countries. Brother to Stephan (see).
Assets: Owns an estimated one-third of $7.8 billion (revenues) Holderbank. Shares dipped in late 1997 on overblown fears of Asian impact, but are up 82% so far this year.
Time off: Plays master of the house at his stately 19th-century Grand Hotel Quellenhof in the Rhine Valley. Or tends to his Cuvaison Vineyard in California.

Christoph Blocher
Net worth: $2 billion
Billionaire in the news. See page 220.

United Kingdom

Bruno Schroder And Family
Net worth: $2.9 billion
Claim to fame: Fourth-generation banker, Schroder, 65, vows to maintain independence of the successful eponymous merchant bank (pretax profits, $409 million) despite frequent takeover rumors. Last year it was top financial adviser on U.K. public takeovers, ranked by number of deals.
Assets: With sister Charmaine and family trust, has 48% stake in Schroders Plc.
Time off: Collects silver chalices, donates to German charities.

Richard Branson
Net worth: $1.9 billion
Claim to fame: This unstoppable travel-entertainment-retail mogul, 48, was Londoners’ unofficial choice for mayor this spring. A master of publicity, he sent a Sherman tank into New York’s Times Square to mark launch of Virgin Cola in May. Current challenge: making a go of Virgin Rail.
Assets: The privately held Virgin empire, of which Virgin Airline is biggest cash generator. Floated low-cost Virgin Express late last year.
Time off: Hot-air ballooning.

Viscount Rothermere
Net worth: $1.6 billion
Claim to fame: Third-generation media baron, 72, whose national newspaper division with Daily Mail as its flagship, had a record year for circulation, revenue and profit. New areas to conquer: radio and electronic publishing. Son and likely successor Jonathan Harmsworth, 30, in the wings.
Assets: Chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust, of which the viscount and son own 54%. Share price up about 50% since last year. Also bought U.S. magazine Institutional Investor in August.
Time off: Native Brit bases himself in France.

Garry Weston And Family
Net worth: $1.6 billion
Claim to fame: Chairman of Associated British Foods, 71, saw profits of $1.4 billion on sales of $8.7 billion trimmed by the strong British pound. Cautiously expanding in China.
Assets: Controls 63% of Associated British Foods, maker of Twinings Tea, Wagon Wheels snack cakes and British Sugar products. At least 40% of the family’s stake in the food behemoth is pledged to a charitable trust.
Time off: Gardening and tennis.

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