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Wealth: ‘Bilanz’ Lists the Richest Germans

In spring, ‘Forbes’ published its annual list of the richest people in the world. The American magazine came to the conclusion that there are 2,208 billionaires. The richest of them all is Jeff Bezos, the boss of Amazon, according to the publication.

Not only did Bezos overtake Bill Gates, but he also accumulated the largest fortune ever, in the amount of 112 billion U.S. Dollars (96 billion Euro). And he broke yet another record, by increasing his net worth by 39 billion Dollars (33.4 billion Euro) within a year.

One thing is certain: Nobody beats the Americans. If Buffett, Zuckerberg, the Koch brothers or Larry Ellison were Germans, they would top the country’s list. But, even though some of them have German names, they are not.

Anyway, there are quite a few actual Germans who do have fortunes. One of them is Dieter Schwarz. The 78-year-old lives in Heilbronn, a small city in the southern German province of Baden-Württemberg. According to ‘Bilanz’, he has 39.5 billion Euro (46 billion Dollars), which makes him the richest German, by far.

Schwarz founded the supermarket chain Lidl as well as the hypermarket brand Kaufland, both of which keep on expanding around the globe as if there were no tomorrow. Lidl is even beginning to spread in North America.

According to German-language media, Schwarz is rather shy, in the sense that he does not enjoy standing in the spotlight. There are hardly any photos of him, hardly any statements or interviews. But he does seem to keep in touch with local politics in his home town.

‘Bilanz’, a new publication coming from ‘Welt’ and ‘Bild’ publisher Springer, put Karl Albrecht Jr.’s family and the Heister family on the second position of its list, with a fortune of 25.5 billion Euro (29.7 billion Dollars). The Albrechts own ‘Aldi Süd’, while the northern Aldi division is owned by the Theo Albrecht family. They accumulated only 18.3 billion Euro (21.3 billion Dollars).

The third richest German is Georg Schaeffler, who owns a lot of Schäffler AG and Continental AG stock. His wealth amounts to 20.5 billion Euro (23.9 billion Dollars).

According to ‘Bilanz’, there are 228 billionaires in Germany, or about 10 percent of all billionaires in the world. In order to be part of the top 1000 list of the richest Germans, 140 million Euro (163 million Dollars) is the minimum any contestant would have to pile up on the table.

‘Bilanz’ will also provide a separate list of the richest German women, when it is being released tomorrow. The fact that the first place goes to Susanne Klatten yet again, is hardly surprising. She owns 19 billion Euro (22 billion Dollars), a fortune she inherited from her late father Herbert Quandt.

Susanne Klatten owns rather large packages of Altana and BMW stock .