Nathan Kirsh

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Nathan Kirsh
Born (1932-01-06) 6 January 1932 (age 86)
Potchefstroom, South Africa
ResidenceLondon, England
NationalitySwazi
EducationPotchefstroom High School for Boys
University of the Witwatersrand
OccupationProperty developer
Net worthUS $4.8 billion (September 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Frances Herr
Children3,[1] including Philip Kirsh

Nathan Kirsh (born 6 January 1932) is a South African-born Swazi billionaire businessman, with property spanning Australia, Swaziland, and the UK. He has Swazi citizenship, and according to Forbes he is the wealthiest person in Swaziland.[1] He also has residency status in the UK and the US.

Education[edit]

Kirsh grew up in a Jewish family[2] in Potchefstroom, where he attended and matriculated from Potchefstroom Boys High in 1949 before obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of the Witwatersrand and an honorary doctorate from the University of Swaziland.[3]

Commercial[edit]

Kirsh left South Africa permanently for Swaziland in 1986 after a business partnership between his company, Kirsh Industries, and Sanlam, one of South Africa’s leading financial services groups, unravelled.[4]

His main holding group, Kirsh Holdings Group, owns Swazi Plaza Properties – his biggest interest in that country – in a 50/50 partnership with the government-owned Swaziland Industrial Development Company (SIDC).

Kirsh owns Ki Corporation, a Liberian-domiciled company held by the Eurona Foundation. The Eurona Foundation is a trust organised in Liechtenstein. Kirsh and Prince Michael von Liechtenstein are the two trustees of the foundation.[5] The Eurona Foundation also majority owns (84.5%) another of Kirsh’s companies, Mira Mag, which in turn owns a significant stake in Israeli security company, Magal Security Systems.[6]

Through Kifin Limited, part of Ki Corporation, Kirsh holds a 29.9% stake in London-based property developer Minerva.[7] Kirsh recently made British headlines for an attempted takeover bid of Minerva,[8] although he pulled out in early January 2010. "The offer was made at 50p a share in cash, valuing Minerva at about £85m, and needed 50 per cent of stock."[7] However, the offer was considered to undervalue the company.

Kirsh's companies are registered in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Liberia, listed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s tax-haven "Grey list".[9]

KiFin Limited's deputy chairman is Ron Sandler, who was the government-appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Northern Rock through 2011 and an advisor to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Sandler told The Independent that he was a "sounding board" and advisor to Nathan Kirsh.[9]

As of 2012, Kirsh had a 63% stake in Jetro Holdings, a holding company that owns 86 Restaurant Depot stores plus 10 Jetro Cash & Carry stores. It is believed that the company earned $6.5 billion in revenue in 2011.[10] On or around the time of his purchase of Restaurant Depot, Kirsh solicited capital from Warren Buffett, but Buffett turned him down.[11]

Since 2012, Kirsh has continued to work in real estate. According to Kirsh, real estate "is the only sector where 'stupid people' can make money."[11]

Controversies[edit]

Magal Securities[edit]

Kirsh is the largest shareholder of Magal Security Systems, with a beneficial ownership of 24.2%. He is also a director of the company.[12] Magal Security Systems develops and supplies control systems and intrusion detection systems and is the main supplier of electronic fences for the security fence project in the West Bank. Magal won 80% of the bids published by the Israeli Ministry of Defence for the installation of intrusion detection systems along the security fence.[13] The company has been criticized by several NGO bodies, which have expressed concern that the company is involved in constructing the security fence which was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in July 2004.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Kirsh is married to Frances Kerr, and they have three children, one son, Philip Kirsh, and two daughters.[15] They live in London, England.[1][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Forbes profile: Nathan Kirsh". Forbes. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. ^ Jewish Business News: "Billionaire Nathan Kirsh Says Obama Is Destroying Jobs In Swaziland" 12 January 2015
  3. ^ "Nathan Kirsh Swaziland Billionaire". African Millionaire. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  4. ^ Carte, David (25 November 2009). "Exclusive: Natie Kirsh chats to Moneyweb". Moneyweb.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ South African takes Minerva stake to 20% James Whitmore, Property Week, 27 November 2008
  6. ^ Magal Security Systems Ltd. United States Securities And Exchange Commission, Securities Information (26 December 2005).
  7. ^ a b Daniel Thomas, "Kirsh abandons Minerva bid," FT (8 January 2010).
  8. ^ D-Day for Minerva as Kirsh plans move Graham Ruddick, The Daily Telegraph (London), 8 January 2010
  9. ^ a b SlackBelly: Trouble at Tradition: Ex-director sues broking firm The Independent, 14 February 2010
  10. ^ The Quiet Wholesale Billionaire in Wall Street's Backyard - Retrieved 2 October 2014
  11. ^ a b "The Quiet Billionaire in Wall Street's Backyard". Bloomberg Businessweek. 19–25 Nov 2012. p. 52.
  12. ^ AGM of Shareholders of Magal Security Systems Ltd Magal Security Systems, 19 November 2009
  13. ^ Magal Security Systems Ltd Who Profits?, 15 December 2007
  14. ^ City Spy: Morrisons vs M&S in Bolland fight London Evening Standard, 8 January 2010
  15. ^ "Times Of Swaziland". Times.co.sz. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  16. ^ 'Rich list 2015: The Billionaires', The Sunday Times Magazine: Rich list 2015: The Definitive Guide to Wealth in Britain and Ireland, 26 April 2015, p. 21