Home » South African billionaire Koos Bekker records $300-million wealth loss in 2023

South African billionaire Koos Bekker records $300-million wealth loss in 2023

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Koos Bekker

South African billionaire Koos Bekker, celebrated for his visionary insights in tech-related investments, faced significant financial losses in 2023 due to selling pressure throughout the year that impacted Prosus shares, marking a challenging year for his investments in 2023.

According to Forbes, a leading U.S. business magazine that tracks the fortunes of the world’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHWIs), Bekker, a top figure among South Africa’s richest individuals and one of Africa’s top billionaires, saw his net worth fall by $300 million in 2023, from $2.6 billion on Jan. 1 to $2.3 billion on Dec. 31.

Navigating headwinds: Bekker’s Prosus N.V. stake takes a hit amid industry disruptions

The downturn, amounting to $300 million throughout the year, is closely tied to the sustained downturn in the market value of his 0.72-percent stake in Prosus N.V., a global internet entity under the South African conglomerate Naspers.

According to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa, Bekker experienced a substantial setback in his investment in Prosus, which declined by over €180 million ($200 million), with the company’s shares falling by 18.95 percent in 2023 from €33.30 ($36.46) to €26.99 ($29.58) on Dec. 31. This caused the market value of Bekker’s stake to fall from €966.77 million ($1.06 billion) on Jan. 1 to €783.58 million ($855.81 million) on Dec. 31.

The slump in market value is a consequence of the challenges faced by the global investment group, including market volatility problems, competitive pressures, technological disruptions, economic uncertainties, and shifts in consumer behavior, resulting in disappointing financial performance.

Mastermind unveiled: Koos Bekker’s legacy in African business

Despite the significant decline in his fortune in 2023, Bekker remains one of the richest individuals in South Africa and the broader African continent, boasting an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion.

Forbes recognizes him as the 12th wealthiest individual in Africa and positions him at 1,332nd on the list of the world’s richest billionaires. Within South Africa, he holds the fourth spot, securing a position among the top five wealthiest individuals in his country.

His entrepreneurial journey began in 1985 with the founding of M-Net, which later evolved into MultiChoice. In 1997, he took the helm at Naspers, where his strategic vision drove the company’s rise. He also played a key role in shaping the Amsterdam-based group Prosus N.V.

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