Roche Holding AG (ROG), the Basel, Switzerland-based drugmaker that manufactures the world’s best- selling cancer treatment and reached a five-year high this week, has minted at least 12 Swiss and German billionaires. Seven have never appeared individually on an international wealth ranking.
The dozen billionaires, who are drawn from the Engelhorn family of Germany and Switzerland’s Hoffmann-Oeri clan, have a combined fortune valued at more than $35 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Eight of the medicine moguls are great-grandchildren of Roche founder Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, who created cough-syrup maker F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. in 1896. Hoffmann’s heirs control at least half of Roche’s voting rights and a 9.3 percent economic interest in the company, according to the company’s annual report.
“The family avoids the spotlight,” Martin Voegtli, a Zurich-based analyst with Kepler Capital Markets SA, said by phone. “On the operational side of things their involvement is limited, although they are fully committed to the business.”