Johann Rupert, the South African billionaire with multiple business interests is planning to take a 12 month sabbatical. He is the founder of Richemont, the Swiss based luxury goods giant which one of the largest conglomerate next only to LVMH. The 62 year old luxury goods tycoon made the announcement to the media and interacted with reporters through a conference call. He has that he had been fully involved with his businesses for the last 25 years and it was his right to take a break. He would like to be the master of his own time and do things he loves to do. He said that he plans to read about 50 books and possibly travel to Antarctica.
The Business Was Started in 1941 by His Father With ₤10 Investment
Rupert’s father, late Anton Rupert had started a small cigarette manufacturing business with a ₤10 investment in 1941. The business grew rapidly into the Rembrandt Group, a diversified conglomerate with interests in finance, luxury goods, finance, tobacco manufacturing and mining interests, among others. His son Johann further transformed the business holdings into one of the world’s largest luxury conglomerates. The group now owns brands like watchmakers IWC, Vacheron Constantin SA, Piaget and Montblanc. Rupert finds it ironic that someone in the watch business has no control of his time. His plans for the sabbatical will make him the master of his own time.
Johann Rupert is the Second Richest Man in South Africa
Johann Rupert holds 50% of Richemont’s voting rights and that makes him the second richest man in South Africa considering the price of stocks he holds. As per May 15 prices his net worth is estimated to be $6.9 billion. The sales of Richemont grew by about 12% in April. However the group is cautiously optimistic. In Rupert’s absence Deputy Chairman Yves-Andre Istel will chair Richemont’s board meetings while co-CEOs Fornas and Lepeu will manage day-to-day operations. He had been planning this sabbatical for some time and had appointed veterans to the company’s senior executive committee and placing younger managers to head some of the group’s largest brands.