Ron Burkle’s profile picture

Ron Burkle

Founder, The Yucaipa Companies, LLC
Ron Burkle’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: $2.04 Billion
Industry: Investments
Residence: London, United Kingdom
Country: United States
BirthDay: 12 November 1952
Children: 3
Education: Diploma, High School

Ron Burkle was bornon 12 November 1952 in London, United Kingdom, United States, is Founder, The Yucaipa Companies, LLC. Ron Burkle is #1200 in List Billionaires People In The World. The son of a grocer, Ron Burkle started working as a box boy at age 13. He formed investment firm Yucaipa in 1986 and bagged big returns buying and selling supermarket chains Fred Meyer, Jurgensen's, Ralphs and others. Burkle primarily invests in private companies that support the food trade, in areas like logistics, cold storage and food safety. He has invested in tech firms including Airbnb, Uber and Foursquare, failed movie production firm Relativity Media, and the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.


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Ronald Wayne Burkle (born November 12, 1952) is an American investor and philanthropist. He is co-founder and managing partner of The Yucaipa Companies, LLC, a private equity and venture capital firm that specializes in underperforming U.S. companies in the distribution, logistics, food, retail, consumer and light industrial sectors. Yucaipa has executed grocery chain mergers and acquisitions involving supermarket chains including Fred Meyer, Ralphs, and Jurgensen's, and owns stakes in about 35 companies including grocery chains A&P and Whole Foods Market.Burkle’s net worth is estimated at $2.9 billion. He was ranked #633 on Forbes' list of “The Richest People On The Planet 2014.”Burkle is a prominent Democratic activist and fundraiser.Ron Burkle was born on November 12, 1952, the elder of two sons, to Betty and Joseph Burkle in Pomona, California. Joseph worked seven days a week, managing a Stater Bros. grocery store in Pomona and investing his savings in apartment buildings. To see his father, Burkle stocked shelves in his father's store with bread and corralled shopping carts.By age 13, Burkle had joined Box Boy Local 770. At age 16, he graduated from high school and entered California State Polytechnic University, Pomona to study dentistry. Less than two years later, Burkle dropped out.At age 21, he married Janet Steeper, a Stater Bros. clerk and great-grandniece of the aviation pioneers, the Wright brothers. They would have three children together. Burkle parlayed a $3,000 investment in American Silver and another metals company into $30,000 and began investing in and flipping undervalued grocery stores. He made at least one deal with the assistance of junk bond financier Michael Milken.Burkle was promoted to store manager at Stater Bros. and later became a vice president at Petrolane, Inc., Stater's parent company. When he was 29, Petrolane decided to sell Stater Bros. Burkle secretly organized a leveraged buyout with Charles Munger, vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, who agreed to put up half of the equity. Burkle made his bid to Petrolane's board that was 20% lower than Petrolane's internal valuation. The board rejected Burkle's offer and fired him. Burkle's portfolio was by then worth some $5 million and during the next five years he continued to invest in stocks and oversaw his family's rental properties.In 1986, Burkle founded Yucaipa Companies, a private equity firm which invests in retail, manufacturing, and distribution.He has served as chairman of the board and controlling shareholder of numerous companies, including Alliance Entertainment, Golden State Foods, Dominick's, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, and Food4Less. He is currently a member of the board of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, KB Home, and Yahoo!Burkle is part owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins National Hockey League team, although his current share is unknown. He co-owns the franchise with Penguins legend Mario Lemieux.He has invested in technology startup companies through A-Grade Investments, a venture capital fund founded by Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle. A-Grade's investments include SeatGeek, SoundCloud and Airbnb.He has also invested in technology startup companies through Inevitable Venture, a venture capital fund founded by D.A Wallach, and Chris Hollod. Inevitable Ventures's investment include Picnic Health, 8i, Thrive Market, and Wiser Care.Burkle has recently invested in a branded entertainment company, Three Lions Entertainment, which focuses on branded entertainment events and cross platform marketing.Wild Oats Markets was an operator of natural foods stores and farmers' markets in North America. Burkle started buying Wild Oats stock in February 2005. By the time Whole Foods Market, a natural-foods grocer, agreed to pay $565 million for Wild Oats, Burkle was the largest shareholder of Wild Oats.Burkle sold his majority stake in supplier Golden State Foods to St. Louis-based Wetterau Associates for about $110 million. Golden State, one of McDonald's biggest suppliers, operates 11 distribution centers in the United States and abroad and two U.S. processing plants.Burkle's investments and transactions include:Burkle has personally contributed millions of dollars to the Democratic Party and raised an estimated $100 million at celebrity-studded fundraising events he hosted for Democratic Party candidates at his Green Acres Estate in Beverly Hills, California. Burkle has hosted fundraisers for Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Cory Booker and Terry McAuliffe, as well as former Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others.In January 2011, he hosted a fundraiser to support efforts to overturn Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.In 2004, Burkle helped finance the launch of Al Gore’s Current TV, which was sold in January 2013 to Qatar-based cable-news channel Al Jazeera.During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Burkle was a key fundraiser and they became close friends. In 2002, Burkle hired Clinton as a senior advisor on two Yucaipa domestic investment funds. Clinton invested in a Yucaipa global fund focused on foreign companies. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, then-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) expressed concern that such investments could be used by foreign governments as "instruments of foreign policy."In 2009 Bill Clinton ended his relationship with Yucaipa due to potential conflicts of interest. Following “months” of negotiations, the two were not able to agree on a final payment for Clinton’s advisory services, estimated at up to $20 million, and Clinton “walked away” from the potential payout.Burkle's honors and awards include the Los Angeles County, California Boy Scouts Jimmy Stewart “Good Turn” Award, the AIDS Project Los Angeles Commitment to Life Award, and the Los Angeles Urban League Whitney M. Young Award. He has received numerous honors and awards from labor including the AFL-CIO Murray Green Meany Kirkland Community Service Award and The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Man of the Year.Burkle is founder and chairman of the board of The Ronald W. Burkle Foundation. The Foundation's mission is to “positively influence people around the world and their communities” by supporting programs that “strengthen international understanding, foster worker’s rights, empower underserved communities, nurture the arts and architecture, engage children in learning and advance scientific research.”Burkle serves as co-chairman of The Ronald W. Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA, to promote "research on and promotes discussion of international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and complex issues of global cooperation and conflict." The Center has hosted eminent figures in world affairs including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.Burkle is a trustee of The Carter Center, the National Urban League, Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and AIDS Project Los Angeles. He is a past board member of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Music Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.Burkle is a fan of historic architecture. In 2011, he purchased the partially restored Ennis House, a Los Angeles landmark designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Burkle owns Greenacres, an estate built for Harold Lloyd.In December 2013, Burkle purchased an Olympic gold medal won by Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Games for $1.4 million and owns William Faulkner's Nobel Prize for Literature.Burkle owns the Mediterranean styled mansion overlooking the bluffs of Black's Beach on a nearly 6 acre plot in the La Jolla Farms neighborhood of San Diego, California. He currently uses it mostly for entertaining. It was purchased on 2/5/1999 for $15.3 million and the current tax assessment is $34 million. In April 2006, Burkle accused New York Post columnist Jared Paul Stern of attempting to extort money from him in exchange for stopping the publication of stories in Page Six, the paper's gossip column, about his private life. He secretly videotaped two private meetings between himself and Stern, with the second meeting orchestrated and monitored by the FBI. Stern allegedly asked Burkle for a $220,000 investment in his clothing business in exchange for better coverage. Stern was subsequently fired by the Post.On April 30, 2008, a Delaware judge dismissed Burkle's lawsuit against Raffaello Follieri, ex-boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway, after Follieri agreed to repay $1.3 million Burkle loaned to him in the Vati-Con scandal.
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