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# 78 Lee Man Tat $16.1B

Random fact: Supports charities on belief that too much money can cause problems.

Overview

Lee is chairman of Lee Kum Kee Group, a maker of Chinese-style condiments for more than 130 years. The Hong Kong-based company was founded by his grandfather Lee Kum Sheung and now sells more than 200 sauces and condiments. Its LKK Health Products Group is involved in herb trading, property and venture capital.

As of :
Last change -$75.8M ( -0.5%)
YTD change -$681M ( -4.1%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Lee Kum Kee
Citizenship Hong Kong
Age 89
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Lee Man Tat's net worth of $16.1B can buy ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Lee's wealth is derived from Lee Kum Kee Group, a Hong Kong-based company composed of the Lee Kum Kee sauce group, which produces Chinese-style condiments, and LKK Health Products Group, a maker and distributor of herbal health supplements under the brand Infinitus.

Lee Kum Kee had more than $1 billion in retail sales in 2018, according to Euromonitor. It's valued based on the price-to-earning multiples of five publicly traded peers: Foshan Haitian Flavouring & Food, Thaitheparos, Jiajia Food Group, Bull-Dog Sauce and Xiwang Foodstuffs.

Infinitus had revenue of $4.5 billion in 2018, according to industry publication Direct Selling News. It's valued using the average multiple of price-to-earnings of four publicly traded peers from the direct selling and Chinese medicine industries: Herbalife, Nu Skin Enterprises, China Traditional Chinese Medicine Holdings and Kingworld Medicines Group.

The billionaire also owns at least seven properties across London, Hong Kong and mainland China. The value of his real estate is mostly based on acquisition prices adjusted to reflect an appreciation of market values. The group's $1.7 billion purchase of 20 Fenchurch Street, known as the Walkie Talkie building, in 2017 was the highest price ever paid for a London office building.

Karen Ho, communication manager of LKK Health Products Group, and Carmen Lang, spokeswoman for Lee Kum Kee, both declined to comment on Lee's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/1/1930
Family: Married, 5 children

Lee was born in 1930 in Macau, then a Portuguese enclave bordering China’s southern city of Zhuhai. His grandfather Lee Kum Sheung accidentally invented oyster sauce when he overcooked his soup. Inspired by the taste and aroma, he began selling it as a condiment and founded Lee Kum Kee.

When the original oyster sauce factory burned down in 1902, the business was rebuilt in neighboring Macau where it remained until 1946 when it moved to the more prosperous city of Hong Kong.

When Lee was 15 years old, he dropped out of high school and joined the family business in China, delivering sauces to restaurants.

After the Communist Party came to power in 1949, Lee returned to Macau to run his own company, manufacturing umbrellas, toys and cosmetics for about six years, until his father convinced him to rejoin Lee Kum Kee in Hong Kong.

Later, when a conflict arose over business strategy, he assisted his father in buying out all the shares held by his two uncles, Lee Siu Wing and Lee Siu Tang, for HK$4.6 million in 1972, according to a story by local magazine Business, citing Franky Wong, a spokesman for the family.

Another family quarrel occurred in the late 1980s, resulting in Lee buying out the shares of his brother, Lee Man Lok, for HK$80 million and taking full control of the company, according to the same article.

Lee and his youngest son, Sammy, ventured into the health supplements business in 1992, when they established LKK Health Products Group, a manufacturer and seller of Chinese herbal products through a brand called Infinitus.

The company later expanded its offerings to include health food, cosmetics, personal care and household products, such as toothpaste and laundry detergent, using the direct selling model popularized by Amway and Avon.

Lee lives in Hong Kong with his wife. He has a daughter and four sons.

Milestones
  • 1888 Lee Kum Sheung invents oyster sauce.
  • 1954 Lee joins the family business.
  • 1972 Takes charge of the Lee Kum Kee group.
  • 2012 Acquires 'Walkie Talkie' building in London.