Swazi billionaire businessman Nathan “Natie” Kirsh has seen his net worth slump by $601 million since the start of the year due to a decline in the market value of his investments held through his conglomerate, Kirsh Group.
According to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Kirsh, who had a net worth of $8.27 billion at the beginning of the year, has seen his wealth fall by $601 million to $7.67 billion at the time of writing this report.
His recent wealth loss places him among African billionaires whose net worth has dropped by more than $500 million this year, including Ethiopia’s richest man, Mohammed Al-Amoudi, South African billionaire Johann Rupert, and Zimbabwean tech tycoon Strive Masiyiwa.
Kirsh is one of many African billionaires who built their fortunes from the ground up. His father left him a £1,200 ($1,630) inheritance, which he used to start a corn and malt milling business in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).
The majority of his net worth is derived from his 75-percent stake in Jetro Holdings, a consumer goods company based in New York that operates two wholesale grocery businesses in the United States: Jetro Cash & Carry and Restaurant Depot.
Jetro Holdings’ value is calculated by averaging the enterprise value-to-sales multiples of four publicly traded peer companies: Costco Wholesale, Kroger, Metro, and Loblaw Companies.
The decline in his net worth of $601 million can be attributed in part to the performance of his stake in Jetro Holdings, which has fallen from $4.9 billion to $4.73 billion at the time of writing this report.
Shares of Costco Wholesale and Metro Retail have fallen more than 15 percent since the start of the year, while Kroger and Loblaw Companies have increased by a single digit.
Despite a year-to-date decline in his net worth, Kirsh remains one of Africa’s wealthiest billionaires. He owns 54 percent of Sydney-based Abacus Property Group, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust, in addition to his stake in Jetro Holdings.
The billionaire also owns property on four continents, including Tower 42, London’s first office skyscraper, which is presently valued at $373 million.