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Brazil’s richest man earns $1.3-billion on Tim Hortons deal

Jorge Paulo Lemann, centre, poses during the inauguration of The Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies at Illinois, in Champaign, Ill., in this handout photo taken in October, 2009. Mr. Lemann has added more than $1-billion (U.S.) to his fortune from the recent Burger King-Tim Hortons deal.

Fundacao Lemann via Bloomberg

Burger King Worldwide Inc.'s acquisition of Tim Hortons Inc. helped Brazil's wealthiest man add another $1.3-billion (U.S.) to his fortune this month.

The net worth of Jorge Paulo Lemann, who owns shares in Burger King and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, rose to $24.8-billion in August, passing Hong Kong real estate magnate Lee Shau Kee, Nigerian billionaire Alhaji Aliko Dangote and investor Carl Icahn on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Burger King surged 20 per cent on Aug. 25 following reports that the second-largest U.S. burger chain was in talks to buy the Canadian coffee-shop chain. The companies announced the $12.5-billion (Canadian) deal, which was backed in part by billionaire Warren Buffett, the next day.

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"Burger King's acquisition means more top line," Nicole Miller Regan, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Cos., said in a phone interview from Minneapolis. "Burger King could benefit from Horton's brands in terms of menu and marketing."

Lemann's wealth also was bolstered by a jump in Anheuser-Busch. The world's biggest brewer has climbed 9 per cent this year amid World Cup beer sales and the Brazilian government's decision to postpone plans for a cold-beverage tax.

A spokesman for Lemann declined to comment.

In July, Anheuser-Busch reported growth in second-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates as World Cup-related sales in Brazil offset declining sales in the U.S. The gains also have boosted the fortunes of Lemann's Brazilian partners Marcelo Telles and Carlos Sicupira. The combined net worth of "three musketeers," as they're sometimes called, reached a record $46.5-billion (U.S.), overtaking Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison.

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