Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 184 Marian Ilitch $9.88B

Random fact: Transforming downtown Detroit through District Detroit project.

Overview

Ilitch owns Little Caesars, the third-largest pizza chain in the U.S. The Detroit-based company has more than 4,300 outlets and retail sales of about $3.8 billion in 2019. The Ilitch family also controls the MotorCity Casino as well as the Detroit Tigers, a baseball team, and hockey's the Detroit Red Wings.

As of :
Last change -$23.5M ( -0.2%)
YTD change +$1.07B ( +12.2%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Little Caesars
Citizenship United States
Age 87
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Marian Ilitch's net worth of $9.88B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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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 Ilitch family fortune is derived from Little Caesars, the third-largest pizza chain in the U.S., according to a 2019 report from market researcher IBISWorld. Marian Ilitch co-founded the closely held business with her late husband, Michael, in 1959, and since his death in February 2017 has been credited with full ownership of the business, as well as the family's other assets, which are held by Ilitch Holdings. 

Little Caesar's has more than 4,300 outlets and estimated U.S. pizza industry-specific sales of $3.4 billion in 2019, according to IBISWorld. Revenue is derived by discounting the group estimate with the average share of sales for franchisees of publicly traded peer company, Domino's. Little Caesars is then valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales and price-to-earnings multiples of two peers, Domino's and Papa John's.

The Ilitch family also owns all of Detroit casino MotorCity. MotorCity revenue was provided by the Michigan Gaming Control Board and Ebitda was derived using margins reported by rival MGM Grand Detroit. The Ebitda multiple was adjusted in March 2020 to reflect equivalent decreases for a pool of publicly traded peers and this led to a decrease in the calculation of about $500 million.

They also own the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, and an event and venue management business, Olympia Entertainment. The Tigers are valued using an assessment from Anderson Economic Group, a consulting firm that specializes in valuations of franchised industries. The Red Wings are valued based on a Bloomberg analysis of recent transaction values for similar teams and discussions with sports valuations consultant Marc Ganis. Olympia, which includes Detroit's Fox Theater, isn't valued separately. A liability is applied to account for the cost of acquiring the assets.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/1/1933
Family: Widowed, 7 children

Born in Dearborn, Michigan, Ilitch started out in the food business as a young girl working at her father's restaurant. After graduating from Fordson High School, she attended Dearborn Community College where she studied liberal arts.

Ilitch met her husband, Michael, on a blind date set up by Michael's father. Months later, the two got married. Marian and Michael Ilitch invested their life savings of $10,000 to open their first pizza store in Garden City, Michigan in 1959. The company grew to be the third-largest pizza chain in the U.S. based on the number of restaurants and total sales.

The Ilitch family has donated millions of dollars to philanthropic organizations and founded the Ilitch Charities in 2000.

Milestones
  • 1933 Marian Ilitch is born in Dearborn, Michigan, to Macedonian immigrants.
  • 1954 Marries her late husband and co-founder, Mike Ilitch.
  • 1959 Marian and Michael invest their life savings into their first pizza store.
  • 1962 First Little Caesars franchise opens in Warren, Michigan.
  • 1982 Purchases the Detroit Red Wings with her late husband, Michael Ilitch, in 1982.
  • 2000 Family launches Ilitch Charities.
  • 2005 Becomes sole owner of MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 2016 Little Caesars lands a naming rights deal with a new Detroit sporting venue.