Home » South African billionaire Saltzman family suffers $34-million loss in 72 days

South African billionaire Saltzman family suffers $34-million loss in 72 days

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Ivan Saltzman

Adding to the $54 million loss recorded earlier this year, the billionaire Saltzman family of South Africa, the driving force behind Dis-Chem Pharmacies, has faced a notable setback, with a recent drop of $34 million in just 72 days.

This significant decline in the market value of their stake in Dis-Chem coincide with a sustained decline in the company’s shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, the Saltzman family’s stake in Dis-Chem Pharmacies has decreased by R667.57 million ($34.5 million) since July 25 as investors on the local bourse continue to reduce their stakes in the South Africa-based group.

Dis-Chem Pharmacies is a leading retail pharmacy chain and healthcare group in South Africa. Lynette and Ivan Saltzman founded the company in 1978.

Since the Saltzmans founded the company more than four decades ago, it has grown into one of the country’s leading retail healthcare groups, with associated dispensaries, family clinics, wound care clinics, and comprehensive self-medication centers.

Ivan Saltzman, the former CEO of Dis-Chem, resigned from his position at the helm of the company 158 days ago, making way for Rui Morais, the CFO, who was appointed CEO-designate in August 2021, and assumed the position of CEO in early July 2023.

Lynette and Ivan Saltzman, who presently own a 45.2-percent stake in the Gauteng-based healthcare group, played a key role in its growth into one of the largest retail pharmacy chains on the continent, with over 300 retail stores and 20,000 staff.

Since July 25, shares in the South African retail pharmacy industry have slumped by 8.57 percent, declining from R25.80 ($1.32) on July 25 to R23.59 ($1.21) on October 5, due to sell-offs on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as investors reduced stakes in risky assets.

As a result of the single-digit slump, the market value of the Saltzman family’s 45.2-percent stake in Dis-Chem Pharmacies has dropped from R7.79 billion ($403.56 million) on July 25 to R7.13 billion ($369.00 million) at the time of writing this report.

This translates to a loss of R667.57 million ($34.57 million) for the billionaire family in the past 71 days.

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