South African billionaire Nicky Oppenheimer loses $780 million in past 54 days

After recording a multimillion-dollar increase in his net worth in the first six months of 2022, South African billionaire Nicky Oppenheimer has recorded a significant decline in his net worth over the second half of this year due to the revaluation of his stakes in private equity firms.

Research by Billionaires.Africa revealed that Oppenheimer, who sold his family’s 40-percent stake in De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer, to mining company Anglo-American in 2012, has seen his net worth drop by $780 million in the past 54 days.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his net worth has dropped by $780 million, or 8.73 percent, since June 6, from $8.93 billion to $8.15 billion at the time of writing this report due to the poor performance of his private equity investments.

Despite the decline, Oppenheimer remains one of Africa’s richest billionaires and South Africa’s second wealthiest person. However, the recent decline in his net worth reduced his year-to-date wealth gains to $200 million, down from nearly $1 billion on June 6.

After selling his family’s stake in De Beers for $5.2 billion in cash, Oppenheimer now derives the majority of his wealth from private equity investments in Africa, Asia, the United States, and Europe through London-based Stockdale Street and Johannesburg-based Tana Africa Capital.

Aside from his private equity investments, Oppenheimer, a supporter of wilderness conservation, owns South Africa’s largest private game reserve Tswalu Kalahari with his son Jonathan.

Due to a potential threat to community and wildlife conservation, the South African billionaire obtained a court injunction nearly a month ago to prevent Pearline Mineral Exploration from conducting mining activities at his family’s cattle ranch in Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe.

The Oppenheimer family has owned the Shangani Ranch, a 65,000-hectare property that employs 400 people and keeps at least 8,000 cattle for beef export to the United Kingdom, since 1937. It is known as a wildlife sanctuary because it serves as a corridor for migrating animals.

The property was reduced by more than half after land reform legislation in Zimbabwe officially began in 1980 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement under the administration of late President Robert Mugabe.

Eduardo C. Serrano
Eduardo C. Serrano
Based in Los Angeles, California, and Mexico City, Mexico, Eduardo C. Serrano is a reporter specializing in oil and gas, finance, and politics. Earlier in his career, Eduardo served as a special advisor to the administration of former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, and in this role worked intimately with Luis Crescencio Sandoval Gonzalez, Mexico's current secretary of defense, as well as other domestic and foreign political stakeholders. Over the years, he has worked on international lobbying and consulting projects for an array of political and private-sector clients, chambers of commerce, and business councils worldwide. In the early 1990s, Eduardo was the first Mexican-American to graduate from the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in Moscow, Russia, and also studied at Culver Military Academy in the United States. He speaks English, Spanish, Russian, French, and Italian. As an interesting aside, Eduardo worked in media for a short stint in the former Soviet Union, including as a broadcaster on public television.

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