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South African Diamond Tycoon Nicky Oppenheimer Rakes in $370 Million in 17 Days

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Nicky Oppenheimer, the second richest man in South Africa and third in Africa, has seen his fortune grow by a staggering $370 million in just over two weeks.

As reported by Bloomberg’s billionaire index, his net worth has soared to a notable $9.45 billion, up from $9.08 billion on July 10, 2023.

Oppenheimer’s financial might can be traced back to his family’s influential stake in the diamond industry.

Most notably, the considerable windfall he received from selling his family’s 40% stake in De Beers, the world’s most substantial rough diamond producer, to Anglo American for an astounding $5.2 billion in August 2012.

Moreover, dividends from his holdings in Anglo-American added an approximate $390 million to his coffers.

The significant recent increase in Oppenheimer’s net worth can be attributed to the impressive performance of his strategic investments throughout the vibrant African market.

Oppenheimer had previously announced intentions as a private equity investor to channel a significant portion of the proceeds from the De Beers sale into private equity investments primarily focused on Africa.

These investments included an expansion of his stake in Tana Africa Capital, a private equity joint venture he co-founded with Temasek Holdings, a Singapore-based investment fund.

Additionally, he made significant investments in 4Di Capital, a venture capital firm with a strong focus on South Africa, back in November 2012.

Born on June 8, 1945, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nicholas Frank Oppenheimer stems from a lineage of mining pioneers.

His grandfather, Ernest Oppenheimer, founded mining giant Anglo-American in 1917, discovering the world’s largest gold field, the Witwatersrand, near Johannesburg.

In 1929, Ernest Oppenheimer assumed control of De Beers, cementing its position as the world’s leading diamond business while maintaining a close relationship with Anglo Americans through cross-shareholdings.

At 23, Nicky joined the family business as a personal assistant to his father, eventually ascending to the position of chairman of De Beers in 1998.

His tenure as chairman saw him transform the company’s business model following the loss of its near-monopoly on the diamond distribution market in 2000.

He played a significant role in dissociating De Beers from trading “blood diamonds” from conflict zones, instrumental in establishing the Kimberley Process certification scheme in 2003.

Nicky Oppenheimer’s journey and strategic vision have shaped the mining, diamond, and African investment sectors.

His commitment to transformative ventures continues to cement his position as a prominent figure in wealth and business.

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