According to the Bloomberg financial news agency, the Belgian families Van Damme, de Spoelberch and Mevius are the fourth richest family in the world with assets totalling 49.4 billion euro. The Mevius and the Spoelberch families have been involved in the management of the Artois brewery in Leuven since the 14th century. After the merger with Piedboeuf from Liège, the Van Damme family joined the group. The three families have since reduced their interest in the AB InBev beer group. However, this divestment has not made them any poorer.
With mergers and acquisitions, the three families have created one of the largest beverage and brewing companies in the world. Stella Artois, Budweiser and Corona remain some of their popular products.
Particularly noteworthy is the fact they are the first families in the rankings that do not come from the United States. Leading the pack of the wealthiest are the descendants of Sam Walton, of Walmart fame. Three generations later, the Waltons are now worth 130.8 billion euro.
In second place are the brothers David and Charles Koch from the Koch Industries conglomerate whose fortune amounts to 85.2 billion euro.
In third place is the Mars family, whose Mars Company is best known for Mars chocolate bars, M & Ms and Milky Way. The Mars family’s assets total 77.4 billion euro.
The Brussels Times