Net Worth:

$4.1 billion +32%

Last Year:

$3.1 billion




Beverly Hills

Source of Wealth:

Entertainment, media

The Money: Saban Media Group had a huge, $1 billion payday in March with the sale of German media conglomerate ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG for $7.6 billion. Saban was the lead investor in its 2003 acquisition by German Media Partners. Also was among private equity investors who in March bought A. Jerrold Perenchio's Spanish-language broadcast giant Univision Inc. for $12.3 billion. That deal has yet to add to his net worth.

Buzz: Though he only chipped in $300 million of his own money, Saban was the visionary and most visible face in the Univision acquisition. Plans to work the same magic in growing broadcaster's value as he did with Germany's once stodgy ProSieben, whose reporters he sent to Fox News for tutoring on jazzing up their style. His SGC Israel Ventures has 30 percent stake in Israeli telecom firm Bezeq and is looking to increase it. Suffered public embarrassment when testified before a Senate panel in August looking into off-shore tax shelters. Claimed his limited formal education prevented him from knowing whether a shelter used to shield $1.5 billion from capital gains taxes was illegal. Son of an Egyptian toy-seller, Saban's Jewish family fled to Israel when he was 12 during 1956 Suez Crisis. High school graduate got his start in show business managing an Israeli Beatles cover band, eventually immigrating to the U.S. in 1983. Entrepreneurial, with an innate ability to foresee trends, made his first big money transporting Japanese cartoons "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" to U.S. soil in the 1980s. Sold Power Rangers to News Corp. for half-ownership in Fox Family Network, which Walt Disney Co. subsequently snapped up for $5.3 billion. A friend of former President Bill Clinton, Saban is a strong backer of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid. Has donated $7 million towards cost of new Democratic Party national headquarters building.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.