Net Worth: $650 million
Source of Wealth: Movie production
Hollywood success stories seldom come as colorful as that of Arnon Milchan the majority owner of New Regency Productions and the man behind such major motion pictures as “Heat,” “A Time to Kill” and “JFK.”
A 10th-generation Israeli and veteran of the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War, Milchan is a notorious jet-setter who divides his time between Paris, Monte Carlo and Tel Aviv, but spends several days a month at his home in Malibu.
While he prefers to let New Regency executives David Matalon and Michael Nathanson run the company’s day-to-day affairs, Milchan is a passionate film buff who reads scripts, hobnobs with the talent and visits sets while jetting around the world. He signs off on every New Regency project.
Milchan began producing and financing films while in his early 30s in Israel, scoring his first screen credit as producer of “Black Joy.” He made his first TV producing debut in 1981 with the ABC miniseries “Masada” with then-partner Sidney Pollack. His Hollywood debut came two years later with Martin Scorcese’s “The King of Comedy.”
Milchan established New Regency in 1991, and owns 65.5 percent of the company; other major investors include Australian billionaire Kerry Packer, German TV baron Leo Kirch and South Korean electronics giant Samsung.
New Regency which produces about eight movies a year distributed by Warner Bros. is nearly debt-free, has about $300 million in equity and a $500 million credit line through two German banks led by Berliner Bank.
Milchan also owns a number of non-entertainment companies, primarily involved with chemicals, technology and agriculture; last year, he spent $80 million for a 12.5 percent stake in the German athletic footwear and apparel company Puma.