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HomeLifeStyleBiographyGiovanni Ferrero & family

Giovanni Ferrero & family

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Giovanni Ferrero & family controls Ferrero Group, the world’s second-largest chocolate maker. The Alba, Italy-based business sells Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Nutella spread, Tic Tac mints and other confections in more than 170 countries. The company is owned by several family members and had revenue of 14.3 billion euros ($15.8 billion) in 2022.

The Ferrero fortune is derived from closely held Ferrero SpA, the second-largest chocolate maker in the world, according to the International Cocoa Organization’s website. The business is controlled through the Luxembourg-based holding company Ferrero International. The Alba, Italy-based confectionery sells candy in more than 170 countries and had revenue of 14.3 billion euros ($15.8 billion) in the year ended August 2022, according to filings.

The company is valued based on the average enterprise value-to-Ebit and enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiples of three publicly traded peer companies: Hershey, Nestle and Mondelez.

Michele Ferrero, the billionaire’s late father, handed control of the business to his two sons in 1997. Giovanni Ferrero became the sole chief executive when his brother, Pietro, died in 2011. The company announced in March 2017 that Giovanni would step down as CEO on Sept. 1, 2017 and become executive chairman. He’s the highest-ranking family member at Ferrero and is a board member and shareholder of the family holding company.

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They Ferrero family has also provided loans to their namesake firm, which are included as a separate asset, based on the confectionary company’s 2022 accounts. Giovanni also controls affiliated confectionary businesses through Belgian holding company CTH Invest, which is valued based on its annually disclosed net assets, according to business registry filings.

The valuation was updated for 2022 results of Ferrero International and CTH Invest on July 12, 2023, leading to a drop of about $6 billion.

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Cash and other assets are based on an analysis of dividends, market performance, insider transactions, taxes and charitable contributions.

Raoul Romoli Venutri, a spokesman for Ferrero, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.


Giovanni Ferrero was born in September 1964 in Farigliano, Italy, the son of Michele and Maria Franca Ferrero. His paternal grandparents opened a sweets shop in Alba, Italy, during World War II, and with his great uncle founded Ferrero in 1946. The family later transformed the northern Italy pastry shop into a confectionery factory.

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His great uncle, Giovanni, built a national distribution network. By 1954 he had turned the brand into a household name throughout Italy, according to its 2008 corporate social responsibility report. Michele Ferrero joined the family business in 1950 and took over seven years later when Giovanni died. He handed leadership of the company to his two sons, Giovanni and Pietro, in 1997. He later passed them majority control of the family’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The billionaire was named sole CEO after his brother died in a bicycle accident in South Africa in 2011. Michele, who was Italy’s richest person, died in February 2015.

Nutella chocolate spread was created in 1964 and Kinder Chocolate in 1968. Their popularity helped the company expand in Europe and then, in the US, in 1969. By the 1980s, the company had operations on five continents.


  • 1942 Confectionery business is founded by his grandfather, Pietro.
  • 1964 Nutella, a hazelnut chocolate spread, makes its debut.
  • 1968 Michele Ferrero develops Kinder chocolate.
  • 1982 Ferrero Rocher chocolates are invented.
  • 1997 Assumes management of the company with his brother.
  • 2011 Brother and co-CEO Pietro dies in a bicycle incident.
  • 2015 Father dies after months of illness.
  • 2018 Nestle sells its U.S. candy business to Ferrero for $2.8 billion.

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