Seven Italians among the world's richest

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Michele Ferrero built his fortune on chocolates including Ferrero Rocher. Photo: Wasif Ali/Wikipedia
10:37 CEST+02:00
Michele Ferrero, the owner of the world’s fourth-biggest chocolate maker, is the world’s richest Italian, while former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is a few billion euros behind, according to Bloomberg's 2014 rich-list.

Ferrero, whose fortune has been built on the likes of Nutella, Kinder and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, is worth an estimated $25.4 billion (€18.5 billion), making him the 28th richest person in the world and the richest in Italy.

The 89-year-old son of a smalltime pastry maker started from humble beginnings and used hazelnut in the Nutella chocolate spread, which celebrated its 50th birthday last week, to save money on chocolate.

The next richest Italian is Leonardo del Vecchio, the founder and largest shareholder of Luxottica Group, the world’s biggest eyewear company. With an estimated $19 billion (€13.5 billion) fortune, del Vecchio is in 36th place.

The other five Italians that make the list include Paolo Rocca, the patriarch of one of Italy’s richest family and the controlling stakeholder in Techint, an Italian-Argentinian industrials conglomerate. Having amassed an estimated $11.3 billion (€8.2 billion), Rocca is 102nd on the list.

He’s followed by Stefano Pessina, the executive chairman of Alliance Boots, the UK’s biggest pharmacy chain, in 139th place with $9.1 billion (€6.6bn), and fashion designer Giorgio Armani, who falls in 144th place with $8.9 billion (€6.4 billion).

He’s been convicted of tax fraud, but Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is still among the richest Italians in the world. A controlling stake in Fininvest, a Milan-based investment firm, and holdings in Mediaset, AC Milan football club, publisher Arnoldo Mondadori and insurance firm, Mediolanum, helped Berlusconi land in 157th place with $8.3 billion (€6.05 billion).

The poorest among them is Gianluigi Aponte, the founder of Mediterranean Shipping Company, who came 182nd with $7.2 billion (€5.25 billion).

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The richest person in the world is Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, with a fortune of $79.9 billion (€58.2 billion).

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