7 billionaires and the Australian companies they could own

There is a tipping point where large numbers start to lose all meaning. For example, what is the meaningful difference between Bill Gates’ $97 billion and Jeff Bezos’ $131 billion. Is that $34 billion gap making a difference to Gates’ life? What is that $34 billion in practical terms?

One way to contextualise it is to ground it in the companies that we are familiar with in Australia. That $34 billion gap is about the market value of Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO – $35.9b) – Australia’s second biggest mining company. Or another way to think about it, that $34 billion is the size of Australia’s biggest gambling players – Aristocrat (ASX: ALL – $21.6b), Crown (ASX: CWN – $8.7b) and Star Entertainment (ASX: SGR – $4.4b).

In this article we decided to ground the fortunes of the 7 richest people in the world in terms of Australia’s largest companies. Between them, they could personally purchase a fair chunk of Australia’s business world.


NameNet WorthWhat they could buy

Jeff Bezos$131 billionWAAX Stocks… with $100 billion left over
Wisetech ($8.6b)
Afterpay ($8b)
Appen ($3b)
Xero ($11.5b)
Bill Gates$97 billionASX Top 10 Mainstays
Wesfarmers ($48b)
Macquarie ($49b)
Warren Buffet$83 billionMiners
Woodside ($32.5b)
Santos ($17b)
Fortescue ($30b)
Whitehaven coal ($3b)
Bernard Arnault$76 billionGrocery Sector
Woolworths ($50b)
Coles ($22b)
Metcash ($3b)
Carlos Slim Helu$64 billionMarket Darlings
REA Group ($14b)
Seek ($8b)
Car Sales ($4b)
A2 Milk ($11b)
Treasury Wine Estates ($13.5b)
TPG ($6.5b)
Resmed ($9b)
Amancio Ortega$63 billionAustralian Real Estate
Mirvac ($13b)
Stockland ($12b)
GPT Group ($12b)
Lendlease ($11b)
Vicinity ($10b)
Charter Hall ($5b)
Larry Ellison$63 billionInfrastructure Giants
Transurban ($42b)
Syd Airport ($21b)

To give an idea of what Jeff Bezos’ remaining $100 billion can buy him:

  • Australia’s insurance industry: Insurance Australia (ASX: IAG – $18.2b), Suncorp (ASX: SUN – $16.8b), QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE – $16.6b) and Medibank Private (ASX: MPL – $8.9b), AND
  • Australia’s health care giants: Ramsay Health Care (ASX: RHC – $14.7b), Sonic Health (ASX: SHL – $14.3b) and Cochlear (ASX: COH – $13.5b)

The great news is that you don’t need to be a billionaire to own these companies. Owning shares in these companies through the share market offers the opportunity to be a part owner and to share in the profits of these well-known Australian businesses. 

To help you get started we’ve put together the twelve-part podcast series Get Started Investing. Start listening to the series below, or subscribe in your preferred podcast host so you never miss an episode.

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