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Forbes richest list: titans of the cruise industry see net worth rise

2:07 PM, Mar 4, 2013   |    comments
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The past year has been another good one to be a titan of the cruise industry, at least financially.

Forbes' annual ranking of the world's billionaires for 2013, out today, lists Carnival mogul Micky Arison at No. 211 with a net worth of $5.7 billion. That's up from $4.7 billion a year ago.

Forbes notes that despite several incidents over the past year that have cast the cruise industry in a negative light, including the crash of the Costa Concordia, the stock of Carnival Corp. has jumped nicely as the industry has rebounded.

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Arison's net worth, which is heavily tied to his hefty stake in Carnival stock, has nearly doubled from four years ago, when cruise stocks were plunging along with the economy and Forbes pegged Arison's wealth at just $2.9 billion.

Still, Arison still has a way to go to reach his former glory. As recently as seven years ago, when the cruise business was riding high, Arison's stake in Carnival had landed him among the 100 richest people in the world. In 2006, Forbes estimated Arison's net worth at more than $6 billion, putting him at No. 94 on the list. He ranked at No. 129 in 2007, at No. 221 in 2009 and at No. 169 in 2011.

Micky Arison isn't the only Arison whose fortunes are rebounding. Another Carnival heir, Shari Arison, is now worth $4.2 billion, up from $3.4 billion just three years ago, according to Forbes. She now ranks at No. 308 on the list. That said, seven years ago she also was within striking distance of the Top 100 at 109.

Founded by the Arison family in 1972 with a single ship, Carnival Corp. has grown into the world's largest cruise company. It operates nearly 100 vessels spread among 10 brands including Carnival, Princess, Holland America and Cunard.

Another would-be cruise mogul, Leon Black, also is doing better, according to Forbes. The self-made financier who controls Apollo Management - the private equity firm that in turn holds a large interest in Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line - almost didn't make the billionaires list four years ago as his net worth plunged to just $1.1 billion during the financial downturn. But this year Forbes pegs Black's net worth at $4.3 billion, putting him at No. 299 on the list.

Also faring better this year are the many members of the Pritzker family of Chicago who collectively own a sizable chunk of Royal Caribbean. Forbes says Karen Pritzker is now worth $3.2 billion, up from $3.1 billion a year ago, putting her ranking on the list at No. 423. Ten other Pritzkers dot the list with a reported $1.1 billion to $3.0 billion apiece.

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