The following is an excerpt from Nathan Vardi | December 12, 2011 | Forbes.com |
A long time ago Texas buyout investor Harold Simmons reportedly set a lofty goal for himself. He dreamed of one day being worth $10 billion. At the age of 80, Simmons is very close to reaching his goal. His net worth surged in value in 2011 thanks to the incredible performance of Valhi, the most important stock in his portfolio.
Simmons used to be a corporate raider who once unsuccessfully tried to take over Lockheed Corp., but these days he lives in Dallas and is chairman of Valhli, a specialty chemicals conglomerate that he controls through his holding company, Contran Corporation. Shares of Valhi have risen 170% this year, making it one of the hottest stocks of 2011. Simmons’ stake in the company was recently worth $6.4 billion, helping his entire net worth hit the $9.6 billion range. Going into 2011 Simmons’ entire net worth was estimated at $5 billion. No publicly-traded stock in any U.S. billionaire’s portfolio outperformed Valhi in 2011.
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