And Away They Go
Hundreds drop from the billionaire ranks.
March’s pandemic crash erased nearly all the stock-market gains enjoyed by billionaires over the past year. It also knocked many from the billionaire ranks entirely. Altogether, 267 from last year’s list of 2,153 (12.4%) fell below the $1 billion threshold this year, including 127 who tumbled off in early March. Twenty-one others died.
Even before COVID-19 crushed retail, Do Won and Jin Sook Chang’s apparel chain, Forever 21, had fallen out of fashion. Sales dropped significantly at its mallbased stores, pushing it into bankruptcy in September 2019.
The couple agreed in February to sell the closely held company for $81 million to a group that includes mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Properties. It was a stunning reversal of fortune for the two, who emigrated to Los Angeles from South Korea in 1981 with little more than a high school education. Their fortune was once as much as $5.9 billion; today they’re worth less than $100 million.
With his brother Mukesh, Anil Ambani inherited their late father’s fortune in 2002. Three years later, the brothers split up the assets. In 2008, Anil was the world’s sixth-richest person, worth $42 billion—now he’s fallen from the ranks.
The stuffing has come out of Toronto-based Canada Goose, known for its $900-plus parkas, as shares plummeted 71% in the past year. Civil unrest in Hong Kong, a key market, hit sales long before the coronavirus. The net worth of its CEO, Dani Reiss, fell by $700 million, to $600 million.