Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has surpassed clothing tycoon Amancio Ortega and Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett to become the world's second-richest person.
That is richest in terms of net worth, as each of Bezos' shares in Amazon rose $18.32 yesterday, netting him $1.5bn after his company announced its plans to acquire Dubai-based e-retailer Souq. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos now has a net worth of $75.6bn, $700m more than Buffett and $1.3bn more than Ortega.
None, however, touches Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with a net worth of $86bn.
The world's fifth richest person, Facebook's 32-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, provides a wonderful bit of outlying data skewing the average age of the top ten with his net worth of $56bn at the last count by Forbes.
The Souq factor
Souq has been described as the Amazon of the Middle East, an e-commerce platform delivering to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar.
The size of Amazon's deal with the e-retailer hasn't been revealed, although the deal's adviser Goldman Sachs described it as "the biggest-ever technology M&A transaction in the Arab world".
In a document regarding the acquisition, seen by Reuters, Goldman Sachs declared that the purchase would accelerate Amazon's entry into "attractive Middle East countries with significant growth potential".
Evidently, Amazon's investors agree.
Not all e-commerce purchases turn to gold for Bezos. Amazon is reported to be closing Diapers.com, Soap.com and some other sites it bought for $545m in 2011 with Quidsi. A loss-maker, Amazon is folding the Quidsi merchandise into its regular e-tailing operation.®