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Gautam Adani overtakes Bill Gates, Bernard Arnault to become world’s 3rd richest; first Indian, Asian to do so


AUGUST 29, 2022

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani has surpassed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and LVMH co-founder Bernard Arnault to become the world’s third richest person, with a net worth of $137.4 billion. Adani now trails Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranking. Bernard Arnault, world’s 4th richest person, is a French business magnate, investor, and art collector. He is the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest luxury goods company. With the recent net worth surge, Adani has now become that first Indian, and Asian to enter the top three of the said index. Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani and China’s Jack Ma were also never able to achieve this.

It was only last month when Adani replaced Bill Gates to become the world’s fourth-richest person, as his net worth surged to $113 billion, surpassing the Microsoft co-founder by $230 million at that time, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The jump in Adani’s ranking in the index is a result of the massive surge in his fortune so far this year. While all other billionaires in the top 10 have seen a decline in the net worth YTD, Adani’s fortune has gone up by $60.9 billion, five times more than anyone else. Meanwhile, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is at number 11 position with a $91.9 billion fortune.

One of the reasons for Adani climbing the ranks is the surge in Adani Group stocks in recent past. Despite some lawmakers and market watchers raising concerns over opaque shareholder structures and a lack of analyst coverage at Adani Group companies, the shares have soared. Some Adani group company shares have rallied more than 1,000% since 2020, with valuations hitting 750 times earnings. According to a Bloomberg report, another reason why Adani was able to move past some of the world’s richest US billionaires was partly because some of them recently boosted their philanthropy. In July, Bill Gates said he was transferring $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, while Warren Buffett has already donated more than $35 billion to the charity.

Adani Group’s recent acquisitions

Media – On August 23, Adani Group announced that its subsidiary AMG Media Network Ltd (AMNL), through Vishwapradhan Commercial (VCPL), has initiated the process to acquire 99.99% in NDTV promoter RRPR Holding  (RRPR). This will trigger an open offer to acquire up to 26% of NDTV.

Cement – In May this year, Adani Group announced that it would buy Holcim AG’s cement businesses in India for $10.5 billion to become the country’s No. 2 cement manufacturer. This is Adani’s largest acquisition ever.

Power – Earlier on August 19, Adani Power said it would buy thermal power plant operator DB Power for an enterprise value of Rs 7,017 crore.

Port – In Mid-July, Israel announced the sale of Haifa Port, a major trade hub on its Mediterranean coast, to Adani Ports and local chemicals and logistics group Gadot for $1.18 billion.

Road Assets – Earlier this month, Adani Enterprises announced that a unit would buy Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund’s India toll roads in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat states for Rs 3,110 crore.

Courtesy/Source: The article originally appeared in The Financial Express