Who are Germany's top billionaires?

Society

Dieter Schwarz

The 77-year-old founder of the global German Lidl discount supermarket chain is worth 37 billion euros ($44.2 billion), according to Bilanz magazine - the richest German ever. The first Lidl branches opened in the 1970s around the city of Ludwigshafen, and have meanwhile expanded all over the world. New to the US this year, Lidl is in fierce competition with Walmart.

Society

The Reimann family

Bilanz ranks the Reimann family, with its holdings in consumer health group Reckitt Benckiser and Wella hair products, second at 30 billion euros. What started as a chemical firm in the 19th century is now an empire that includes famous brands as diverse as Clearasil, Coty, Jimmy Choo and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Society

Georg Schaeffler and Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann

Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann and her son George, owners of the Schaeffler global automotive and industrial supplier, and major shareholders of tire-maker Continental, rank third among Germany’s richest families with an estimated fortune of 25.5 billion euros.

Society

Karl Albrecht Jr. and Heister family

Aldi is a household name in Germany. The family of Karl Albrecht, the head of Aldi Süd (south) and co-founder of the highly successful chain of discount supermarkets, is ranked as the fourth-wealthiest by Bilanz magazine at 23 billion euros. The reclusive Aldi co-founder died in 2014 - but his empire lives on across the globe and competes heavily with Lidl in Germany.

Society

Theo Albrecht Jr. family

Also highly discreet, the family of Karl’s brother Theo, the Aldi chain’s other founder, runs the northern German Aldi stores (Aldi Nord). It is estimated to be the fifth-wealthiest German family in 2017, with 18.5 billion euros. The family also runs the Trader Joe’s grocery store chain in the US.

Society

Susanne Klatten

Luxury carmaker BMW, pharmaceutical and chemicals manufacturer Alatana, and the SGL graphite maker: Bilanz business magazine ranks 55-year-old entrepreneur and heiress Susanne Klatten sixth on its list of the richest Germans, worth 18.5 billion euros.

Germany has a record 195 billionaires, according to Bilanz business magazine, which has for the first time ranked the country's 1,000 richest people. DW looks at the top six and how the made their fortunes.

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