What is Andrej Babis’ Net Worth?
Andrej Babis is a native Slovak entrepreneur with Czech citizenship who has a net worth of $2.4 billion. Born to a diplomat father in what is now the Slovak Republic, he started his career as a fertilizers trader for Petrimex. Then he became director of the trade group that imported all raw materials required for production of fertilizers. In 1995, he founded the chemical, agricultural and food product holding Agrofert, which expanded across Eastern Europe and now in Germany with the purchase of bakery group Lieken. His group of more than 230 companies leases most of the agricultural land in the country, and it is also purchasing companies that are active in wood processing, media and health-care in order to add them to the stable. Over all these years, Babis has maintained total control of the company management in an old-fashioned way, using a paper calendar instead of a PC.
However, he recently announced that he would step back, and he is even considering a possible stock market launch. In addition to his entrepreneurial duties, Babis is also active politically, having launched a new political party to tackle what he sees as the country’s wide-spread corruption. As of March 2012, the financial magazine Forbes ranked him as the 913th richest man in the world. Babis is divorced from his first wife, with whom he has two children. He currently lives with his girlfriend Monika, and they have two children together.
Andrej Babiš, born on September 2, 1954, in Bratislava, is a prominent figure in Czech politics and business. He served as the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from 2017 to 2021 and played a significant role in the country’s political landscape. Here is an overview of his life, career, and political journey:
Early Life and Career
Babiš was born to a Slovak father from Hlohovec and a Carpathian German mother from Yasinia, Ukraine. His father was a diplomat and a member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), representing the country during international negotiations like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva and as a United Nations consultant. His upbringing involved spending part of his childhood abroad, and he received education in Paris and Geneva.
After completing his secondary education, Babiš continued his studies at the University of Economics in Bratislava, specializing in international trade. In 1978, upon graduating, he joined the state-controlled international trading company Chemapol Bratislava, later known as Petrimex. In 1985, he was appointed as the company’s representative in Morocco.
During the 1980s, Babiš became a member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and worked as an agent for StB, the Czechoslovak secret state security service. Although he denied knowingly being an StB agent, his legal challenges against the Slovak National Memory Institute did not succeed. There were also allegations of his contacts with the Soviet KGB.
Entry into Politics
In 2011, Andrej Babiš founded his political party, ANO 2011, with the aim of combating corruption and addressing issues within the country’s political system. The party made a significant impact during the legislative elections in October 2013, emerging as the second-largest party with 47 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
Subsequently, Babiš served as the Minister of Finance in the coalition government formed with the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats. During his tenure, he introduced various policies, including the controversial electronic registration of sales (EET), proposals for reverse charging of value-added tax, and VAT control statements for companies. Critics accused him of tightening regulations on small and medium-sized businesses while allegedly favoring large corporations, including his own Agrofert holding.
Challenges and Controversies
Babiš faced a vote of no confidence initiated by the opposition due to the government’s decision to extend reduced taxation of biofuels, an area controlled significantly by companies in the Agrofert portfolio. During this time, he claimed that he entered politics because of a “corrupted opposition.”
In addition to political challenges, Babiš has been embroiled in legal disputes, including accusations of conflict of interest and allegations of EU subsidy fraud. These issues led to investigations by the Czech police and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
Andrej Babiš resides in Průhonice, where he owns a luxurious villa built in 2004, along with several other properties. He has been married twice, first to physician Beata Adamičová, with whom he has two children, Adriana and Andrej. Since the 1990s, he has been in a relationship with Monika Herodesová, with whom he has two children, Vivien and Frederik. Monika changed her surname to Babišová, and the couple married in 2017.
Babiš holds dual citizenship of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, gaining Czech citizenship in 2000 by declaration while maintaining his Slovak citizenship by descent. He has occasionally described himself as an occasional church-goer with a devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague during political campaigns.
Despite facing various controversies and challenges, Andrej Babiš remains a prominent and divisive figure in Czech politics, known for his wealth, business success, and political influence.