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# 372 Margarita Louis-Dreyfus $5.21B

Random fact: Ballet lover. Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" is a favorite.

Overview

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus is chairman of Louis Dreyfus Holding, the parent company of Louis Dreyfus, a seller and processor of agricultural goods. The Amsterdam-based company trades more than 80 million tons of commodities a year and had revenue of $36.5 billion in 2018. She controls 96.2 percent of the parent company.

As of :
Last change -$2.71M ( -0.1%)
YTD change +$364M ( +7.5%)
Industry Commodities
Biggest asset Louis Dreyfus Holding
Citizenship Switzerland
Age 57
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus's net worth of $5.21B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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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 the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Louis-Dreyfus's fortune is comprised of her majority stake in Louis Dreyfus Holding, which owns 85 percent of food trader Louis Dreyfus Company. The business trades more than 80 million tons of commodities annually, according to its website. 

The shares, inherited from her late husband, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, are held through Akira, a Liechtenstein-based family foundation set up for her and her children. Because of her controlling position on the three-person board, Louis-Dreyfus is credited with the full value of Akira's stake. She disputes this.

The valuation of Louis Dreyfus Holding is based on Louis Dreyfus Company's 2018 results and the average enterprise value-to-sales, enterprise value-to-Ebitda and the enterprise value-to-book value multiples of three publicly traded peers: Archer-Daniels-Midland, Bunge and Seaboard.

Louis-Dreyfus said in a January 2019 online statement that she had secured financing to buy out participating minority shareholders of Louis Dreyfus Holding, taking her stake from around 80 percent to 96.2 percent. The minority shareholders' stakes were worth about $900 million, according to a November 2018 Bloomberg News report. Net debt held by Akira is included as a liability in the net worth calculation to reflect the cost of stake purchases.

Louis-Dreyfus sold her majority ownership of football club, Olympique de Marseille for about $44 million in 2016. She still holds 5 percent of Marseille, which is valued based on the 95 percent sale of the club.

By email, Louis-Dreyfus disputed the valuation. She emphasized the shares held in Akira belong to the family foundation rather than herself and that neither she nor her family have control over Akira because the three person Akira board requires a majority and no one person can exert control.

Biography

Birthdate: 6/1/1962
Family: Widowed, 3 children
Education: Leningrader School of Commerce

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus was born in Leningrad, Russia, in 1962. She studied economics at Leningrader School of Commerce and took various classes at Moscow State University. In 1988, while flying to London, the divorced Margarita was unaware of the time difference with Switzerland and checked with the man sitting beside her. He was billionaire French businessman Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who was also divorced and living in Zurich. The pair married four years later and had three sons.

Her husband headed advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi and sporting-goods manufacturer Adidas, before returning to the commodities trader that his great-grandfather had established in 1851. He became chief executive of Louis-Dreyfus in 2006. Two years later, he created the family foundation Akira to hold the 61 percent stake he had amassed in the company. He died in 2009 from leukemia.

After the death of her husband, Margarita Louis Dreyfus inherited a position on Akira's board and set about consolidating her control of the company. In 2010, she replaced the two other Akira board members, banker Erik Maris and Jacques Veyrat, the chief executive officer of Louis Dreyfus. She became chairman of Louis Dreyfus in March 2011, and replaced Veyrat with Serge Schoen three months later. Akira's stake in the company was subsequently lifted to 65 percent and the billionaire said in March 2015 she'd reached a deal to increase that stake to about 80 percent by June 2015. Louis-Dreyfus and other family shareholders agreed to arbitration talks in September 2017 to settle a long running dispute over the sale of a further 17 percent of the group to Louis-Dreyfus.

Since taking control of Louis Dreyfus, the billionaire has sought to better understand the business. In 2010, she spent a week in Brazil with her 13-year-old twins touring the ports and plantations of the conglomerate.

She is in a relationship with Swiss banker Philipp Hildebrand and gave birth to twins at the age of 53 in March 2016.

Milestones
  • 1962 Margarita Bogdanova is born in Leningrad, Russia.
  • 1988 Meets Robert Louis-Dreyfus on flight to London from Zurich.
  • 1997 Robert Louis-Dreyfus is diagnosed with leukemia.
  • 2006 Husband named CEO of Louis Dreyfus and builds up company stake.
  • 2009 Becomes trustee of family holding company after husband's death.
  • 2011 Takes over as chairman of Louis Dreyfus.
  • 2014 Confirms Louis Dreyfus is preparing for a possible IPO or stake sale.
  • 2015 Agrees deal to increase Akira's stake to 80 percent.