Jose Luis Cutrale is a returnee to Forbes' Billionaires list in 2015 after making our ranking for the first and only time in 2000. He's back in part thanks to his acquisition of now-delisted North Carolina-based Chiquita Brands International in a joint venture with Brazilian financial conglomerate Safra in October 2014 for about $1.3 billion, including debt. Cutrale owns the majority of closely-held Sucocitrico Cutrale Ltda., one of the largest suppliers of orange juice in the world. It owns juice brands in Brazil and Florida and is a major orange juice concentrate supplier to the Minute Maid and Simply Orange brands, which belong to Coca-Cola. A board member of Coca-Cola Femsa SAB (Mexico's Coca-Cola franchise), the largest franchise bottler of Coke worldwide, Cutrale controls one-third of the world's $5 billion-a-year orange juice market. The family has been in the orange business for more than a century, and today it also invests in other areas such as commodities trading and soy plantations. A legend among Brazilian billionaires -- some say he is the richest man in Brazil -- media-shy Cutrale is rarely seen in public. Married with two sons, both of whom work in the family's businesses, he speaks English, Italian and French.
Cutrale is friends with former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who wrote a letter welcoming him when he first bought an orange juice factory in Auburndale from Coca-Cola in 1997. The letter is now framed and takes pride of place in Cutrale's office.more » « less