Venezuela Magnate Ruperti Cruises to Fortune
Think shipping tycoons and Europeans spring to mind. But a Venezuelan has swiftly and discreetly forged an empire and is poised to become LatAm’s very own Onassis.
by Andy Webb-Vidal
Venezuelan businesses have suffered upheaval over the past
decade as President Hugo Chávezs blueprint for
revolutionizing Latin Americas biggest oil-exporter
clashes with the private sector. But some have made
In just five years, Wilmer Ruperti has used sophisticated
financial engineering to deftly expand his shipping fleet from
one small vessel to 19 ships with a total deadweight tonnage of
about a million tons, including two super-tankers.
But if his fleet has grown impressively to become worth about
$1.4 billion today, that is not enough for Ruperti, who is
preparing to raise $1 billion in private equity in the next few
months through a reverse merger with a specified purpose
acquisition company (SPAC), most likely in the US. The
groups main advisor is Pali Capital, a financial services
firm based in New York, which has been involved in several SPAC
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