Local billionaire is list's 490th-richest
CHAMPAIGN — Flex-N-Gate Corp. owner Shahid Khan ranks No. 490 among the world's billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion, according to a new ranking by Forbes magazine.
The magazine's online version lists Khan's residence as Naples, Fla., even though he has a home in Champaign and Flex-N-Gate is based in Urbana.
The online profile states: "Shahid Khan may have endured a rough 2-14 season as rookie owner of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, but his main business, auto parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate, is thriving with 2012 sales of $3.9 billion, up from $3.4 billion."
Although the 62-year-old Khan ranks 490th among the world's billionaires, he ranks 163rd among those in the United States, according to Forbes.
Topping the Forbes list are four people with net worths estimated to exceed $50 billion:
— Mexican telecommunications titan Carlos Slim Helu and his family, at $73 billion.
— Microsoft founder Bill Gates, at $67 billion.
— Spanish fashion executive Amancio Ortega, at $57 billion.
— Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, at $53.5 billion.
Also populating the top 100 are familiar names such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (No. 13); Amazon's Jeff Bezos (No. 19); Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Nos. 20 and 21); hedge fund maven George Soros (No. 30); Michael Dell (No. 49); Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (No. 66); and News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch (No. 91).
Khan has yet to catch up with Menards founder John Menard, supermarket giants Hank and Doug Meijer, Chicago Tribune investor Sam Zell and one-time presidential hopeful H.R. Perot.
But Khan's not far behind producer Steven Spielberg and Donald Trump of "Apprentice" fame, each of whom has an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion.
By Forbes' count, Khan's net worth exceeds that of Oprah Winfrey ($2.8 billion), David Rockefeller ($2.7 billion), Thomas Siebel ($1.8 billion) and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay ($1.5 billion).
Forbes admits its estimates of net worth aren't perfect.
Describing its methodology, the magazine stated: "To compile net worths, we value individuals' assets — including stakes in public and private companies, real estate, yachts, art and cash — and account for debt. We attempt to vet these numbers with all billionaires. Some cooperate; others don't."
"We also consult an array of outside experts in various fields."