Giovanni Ferrero attends the opening of the Kinder + Sport pavilion in partnership with the Italian Olympic Commitee (CONI) on May 4, 2015 during the Universal Exhibition 2015 (Expo Milano 2015 or World Exposition 2015) in Milan.
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

  • Italy's richest family that founded confectionery giant Ferrero Group now owns a sizeable biscuit business too.
  • Bloomberg reported Monday that Giovanni Ferrero, who is chairman of the group, saw the value of assets acquired through his CTH holding company increase by 40% last year.
  • This was partly due to CTH's $300 million (R5.3 billion) purchase of Danish biscuit business Kelsen Group last year.
  • A number of renowned billionaires have been making investments beyond the traditional remits of their portfolios to diversify.
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Italy's wealthiest family, whose Ferrero Group company created signature brands such as Ferrero Rocher, Nutella and Kinder, has been diversifying its portfolio beyond traditional chocolate products into the biscuit sector, and this side business now owns assets worth around $3 billion (R53 billion).

Bloomberg reported Monday Michele Ferrero's son, Giovanni who is also chairman of the Ferrero Group, is carving his own path with an acquisition he made last year. In 2011, Michele Ferrero's other son Pietro Ferrero died while cycling in Cape Town

Net assets of the younger Ferrero's holding company CTH Group, which is affiliated to the family-owned group, rose by 40% last year to 2.8 billion euros (R58 billion) according to filings seen by Bloomberg. This was partly thanks to its $300 million purchase of Kelsen Group, a Danish biscuit manufacturer.

Ferrero's investment through CTH is another example of a trend among the world's rich of expanding their empires beyond their traditional businesses.

For example, famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who is chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has bought into Amazon and Apple in recent years despite vocally criticising tech companies.

Buffett's company owned about 245 million Apple shares on March 31, according to the latest data available.

Amancio Ortega, the founder of Spanish clothing retail giant Zara, has invested heavily in the property market as COVID-19 weighed down on the the retailer's profitability. Through his personal investment company, Pontegadea, Ortega made a multibillion-euro property bet, he told the Financial Times in March this year.

Launched in 2016, CTH owns American candy company Ferrara, whose brands include Famous Amos biscuits and JujiFruit chewy candy, as well as Belgian biscuit maker Delacre.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates the Ferrero Group is worth $23 billion, accounting for a sizeable chunk of the Ferrero family's $32.9 billion net worth.

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