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# 372 Alain Merieux $6.39B

Random fact: Institut Merieux was set up as serum lab on a farm.


Merieux is the founder of BioMerieux, a developer of tools and tests that detect cancer and HIV. The Lyon, France-based business has about 13,000 employees and reported revenue of 3.4 billion euros ($4 billion) in 2021. Merieux also owns stakes in food tester Merieux NutriSciences and biotech firm Transgene.

As of :
Last change -$47.8M ( -0.7%)
YTD change +$63.0M ( +1.0%)
Biggest asset BIM FP Equity
Country / Region France
Age 84
Industry Health Care
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Alain Merieux's net worth of $6.39B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Merieux's fortune is derived from a 36% stake in BioMerieux, a medical diagnostic company. He holds the shares through Institut Merieux, the closely held holding company controlled by Merieux in his position as chairman.

Merieux has a 68% stake in Compagnie Merieux Alliance, a joint venture with his son Alexandre and the Fondation Christophe & Rodolphe Merieux, according to the Institut Merieux website. Compagnie Merieux Alliance owns 90% of Institut Merieux with the remaining 10% held by Exor following the 2022 sale of the minority stake for 833 million euros ($869 million).

BioMerieux had about 13,000 employees at the end of 2021, according to its website. Merieux's also credited with a 36% stake in Transgene based on its 2021 annual report.

Institut Merieux also owns most of closely held Merieux NutriSciences, according to the website. It's valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales and price-to-earnings multiple of three publicly listed peers: Intertek, ALS and Bio-Rad Laboratories.

A charitable foundation, set up in memory of the billionaire's two eldest sons, owns the remainder of Institut Merieux. These shares aren't included in the calculation because Merieux doesn't exercise control over them. 

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, market performance, insider transactions, taxes and charitable contributions.

No response was received to e-mailed requests for comment on Merieux's net worth sent to his press office.


Family: Married, 3 children

Alain Merieux was born in France in 1938. His grandfather Marcel, set up Institut Merieux as a serum laboratory on a farm near Lyon after studying in the laboratory of Louis Pasteur in 1897.

Merieux started BD Merieux with Becton Dickinson in 1963. With Merieux becoming majority shareholder, the company, which specializes in biological diagnostic work, was renamed BioMerieux in 1974. He took control of the Institut Pasteur Production in France 10 years later and acquired the Connaught Laboratories in the United States in 1989, according to the Fondation Merieux website.

Alain Merieux has also been involved in political activities in France, where he was first vice-president of the board of the Rhone-Alpes region from 1986 until 1998, where he was in charge of foreign relations, economic development, research and secondary education.

The billionaire has received several of France's highest honors, including the Legion d'Honneur in 2004. He lives in France with his wife with whom he had three sons. His middle son Rudolph died in a plane crash in 1996. Eldest son Christophe died of a heart attack in 2006. His third son, Alexandre, became chairman and chief executive officer of BioMerieux in December 2017.

  • 1938 Alain Merieux is born.
  • 1963 Merieux founds BioMerieux.
  • 1986 Becomes vice-president of board of France's Rhone-Alpes region.
  • 1989 Buys Connaught Laboratories in North America.
  • 2001 Founds family foundation in name of both deceased sons.