Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 210 Robert Rowling $7.95B

Random fact: Made $84 million profit on Gaylord Entertainment in 2012.

Overview

Rowling is the chairman and owner of TRT Holdings, a Dallas-based holding company with investments in hotels, energy, and fitness. He and his geologist father started Tana Exploration in 1981, an oil and gas developer that operates in the Gulf of Mexico. Through TRT he also owns the Omni Hotels and Gold's Gym franchises.

As of :
Last change -$30.4M ( -0.4%)
YTD change -$1.07B ( -11.8%)
Industry Energy
Biggest asset Omni Hotels
Citizenship United States
Age 66
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Robert Rowling's net worth of $7.95B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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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 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 Rowling's fortune is derived from his ownership of TRT Holdings, a Dallas-based investment company. Its most valuable asset is Omni Hotels. Omni had revenue of $2.25 billion and Ebitda of $575 million in 2017, according to information provided by the company in October 2018. Revenue and Ebitda for 2016 were $2 billion and $500 million, respectively, according to the same company spokesperson. It's valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales multiple of three publicly traded peer companies: Sunstone Hotels, Belmond, and Host Hotels & Resorts. The addition of the 2017 financials pushed the net worth calculation up by about $900 million.

The valuation of Gold’s Gym is based on a 2018 franchise disclosure document. The business is valued using enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-Ebitda multipliers for publicly traded peers Town Sports International and Planet Fitness. Revenue of $264 million is based on a calculation of company-owned location revenues and a 5 percent royalty fee from franchise revenue.

His oil and gas exploration company Tana Exploration controls offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico and had revenue of $71 million in 2017, according to the company. It's valued based on the enterprise value-to-sales of three publicly traded peer companies: Denbury Resources, W&T Offshore and SM Energy. Tana's Pine Prairie Field in Louisiana is valued at its mid-2014 acquisition price.

Rowling held $1.2 billion in cash and other assets in 2012, a person familiar with his holdings who asked not to be identified because the information is not publicly disclosed told Bloomberg News. That figure has been adjusted for known asset sales and purchases.

A spokesperson for TRT did not return requests for comment on Rowling's net worth in November 2019.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/1/1953
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: Dedman School of Law, University of Texas System/The

Robert Rowling grew up in Midlands and Corpus Christi, Texas, the son of geologist Reese Rowling, who had a passion for divining where promising oil and gas fields lay. After attending the University of Texas at Austin and getting a law degree from Southern Methodist University, "Bob" took a job in 1980 as a tax attorney.

He left law a year later to become the sixth employee of Tana Exploration, an oil and gas exploration company focused on east and south Texas prospects. Rowling brought a business focus to Tana that allowed his father's scientific bent to thrive, according to a 2006 profile of Rowling in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper. Within eight years, they sold Tana's assets to Texaco for a reported $480 million.

Rowling formed TRT Holdings after the sale to manage the family's wealth. He invested in banks and Texas real estate. In 1996, he bought the Omni Hotels chain for about $500 million, acquiring the majority of its franchises and shifting the hotels into the luxury category. TRT owns 48 of the chain's 51 locations, all in North America.

In 2004, Rowling bought Gold's Gym, a fitness chain that gained famed as a Venice Beach, California, gym where Arnold Schwarzenegger worked out in the 1960s. Other investments included a stake in Gaylord Entertainment, which TRT sold in 2012 for a $84 million profit, and a $150 million stake in Guaranty Financial, which was lost when the financial services company went bankrupt during the 2008 financial crisis. TRT also has held various stakes in publicly traded energy companies.

Rowling and his wife, Terry, live in the Dallas neighborhood of Highland Park, and are supporters of Christian causes and educational institutions. In 2013, they pledged $25 million to build new facilities at the University of Texas business school. The billionaire also was a fundraiser for George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections. In various published interviews, Rowling has stated his primary political concern is fiscal policy. He has two children.

Milestones
  • 1980 Gets law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
  • 1981 Joins Tana Exploration, only sibling to go into father's company.
  • 1989 Sells Tana's oil and gas assets for more than $475 million.
  • 1996 Acquires Omni Hotels for about $500 million.
  • 2001 Father, Reese Rowling, dies at the age of 73.
  • 2004 Purchases Gold's Gym from a private equity firm.
  • 2009 Guaranty Financial declares bankruptcy, wiping out TRT's investment.
  • 2013 Omni buys five resorts from KSL Capital Partners to tap luxury golf market.