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# 41 Goh Cheng Liang $26.7B

Random fact: Funding Southeast Asia's first proton therapy machine.


Goh is the founder of Wuthelam Holdings, a closely held paint and coatings maker. The Singapore-based company's joint venture with Japan's Nippon Paint Holdings has over 23,000 employees, and operations in 17 countries, including China and India. It's also the largest shareholder in Nippon Paint, Asia's biggest paint maker.

As of :
Last change +$676M ( +2.6%)
YTD change +$15.5B ( +139.9%)
Industry Industrial
Biggest asset 4612 JP Equity
Citizenship Singapore
Age 93
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Goh Cheng Liang's net worth of $26.7B 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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Goh's fortune is derived from a 39% stake in publicly-traded, Osaka-based Nippon Paint. He owns the shares through Nipsea International, which is wholly owned by the family's holding company Wuthelam Holdings, according to the Nippon Paint's 2020 second-quarter securities report.

Goh and his family own all of Wuthelam, according to a submission by Wuthelam subsidiary Nipsea International to the Jasdaq Securities Exchange on Jan. 22, 2013. Goh is credited with the entire stake because he's the founder. His son Goh Hup Jin is chairman of Nipsea Holdings. 

Nippon Paint is the largest paint maker in Asia, according to the company's website. Its joint venture with Singapore-based Wuthelam Holdings has more than 23,000 employees, and operations in 17 countries, according to the same website.

Wuthelam Holdings also has an interest in Nippon Paint's Asia subsidiaries, through a joint venture with Nippon Paint. It owns 49% of 12 joint ventures, half of Nippon Paint's Indian unit and 40% of Nippon Paint Marine Coatings and Nippe Trading, according to a May 2014 presentation by Nippon Paint.

Nippon Paint disclosed the revenue and operating income of its Asia subsidiaries in its consolidated financial results for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019. Wuthelam's stakes in these units are valued using Nippon Paint's enterprise value-to-Ebit multiple. Wuthelam's Indonesian business was added to the valuation in August 2020 after it was reported as part of the acquisitions by Nippon Paint. It's valued using the enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-EBIT multiples of Nippon Paint. The adjustments to the calculation following announcement of the acquisition lifted the net worth by about $4 billion.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends and stock transactions, as well as taxes and market performance.

No response was received to an e-mail requesting comment on Goh's net worth from Wuthelam's subsidiary Nipsea.


Birthdate: 6/27/1927
Family: Married, 1 child

Goh Cheng Liang was born in 1927 to a father who was unemployed and a mother who washed laundry, according to an interview with Singapore's Business Times in 1997.

When the British army auctioned off surplus stocks of rotten paint in 1949, he bought several barrels and started mixing the paint with colors. He created his first business under the brand Pigeon Paint. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, the Singaporean government introduced restrictions on imports and Pigeon's domestic sales soared.

He went to Denmark to learn paint manufacturing technology and on his return agreed to partner with Japan's Nippon Paint Holdings. They formed Singapore-based Nipsea Group in 1962, which became one of the region's largest paint makers. The billionaire made an unsolicited takeover bid for Nippon Paint in January 2013, withdrew it two months later, and agreed to a strategic alliance with Nippon Paint in February 2014 that saw Wuthelam increase its stake in its Japanese partner to 39 percent stake.

Goh Cheng Liang's holding company, Wuthelam, diversified into real estate, property developments and logistics, and financed the construction of Singapore's Liang Court mall and Mount Elizabeth Hospital in the 1970s and 1980s.

His son Goh Hup Jin is the chairman of Nipsea Group. The billionaire lives in Singapore.

  • 1945 Sells fishing nets during World War II.
  • 1949 Begins selling paint under his own Pigeon brand.
  • 1959 Becomes a distributor for Nippon Paint.
  • 1962 Nipsea Group is formed.
  • 1999 Sells Singapore shopping center Liang Court.
  • 2001 Sold Omni Industries to Canada's Celestica.
  • 2014 Agrees to take 30 percent stake in Nippon Paint.
  • 2014 Gives $50 million to cancer research in Singapore.