NET WORTH: $3.35 billion -9%
LAST YEAR: $3.7 billion
RESIDENCE: Beverly Hills
SOURCE OF WEALTH: TV production, broadcasting
THE MONEY: Wealth took a write-down due to lower value of Univision, which Saban and partners bought for $13.7 billion in 2007. Fitch now calls it a distressed enterprise worth $4.9 billion. Significant gains at private-equity fund Saban Capital and incremental gains in capital markets couldn’t make up loss.
BUZZ: Still looking for magic touch at Univision. Recruited Randy Falco, former chief executive at AOL, to run network, which has lost more than $1 billion in two years.
Also settled mess with former tax attorney Matthew Krane, who was convicted of creating illegal tax shelters for Saban’s money. Krane was sentenced to prison and forced to return $18 million, half the fee Saban originally paid him. Money was given to charity.
Meanwhile Saban Capital invested $30 million in Celestial Tiger Entertainment, a Hong Kong-based pay-TV company, and $78 million in Nusantara Media, an Indonesian broadcaster. Born in Egypt and raised in Israel, Saban made his first fortune by turning Japanese TV show “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” into U.S. hit. New version of “Power Rangers” just launched its second season. Later co-founded Fox Family Channel, which Disney bought for $5.3 billion.
One of the biggest Democratic Party donors in history, Saban has called Republican Mitt Romney “a worthy candidate” and disagrees with President Obama on Israel. Both parties watching to see where his money will land this year.
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