The son and two daughters of 95-year-old Anne Beau Cox Chambers are among the world’s 400 richest people after she distributed her stake in closely held Cox Enterprises to her heirs.
James Cox Chambers, 58, Katharine Anne Johnson Rayner, 70, and Margaretta Johnson Taylor, 73, share 49 percent of the Atlanta-based company and have individual fortunes valued at $5.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. None of the three siblings have appeared on an international wealth ranking.
Their mother, long listed among the world’s wealthiest women, won approval from a state court two years ago to dissolve the trust that held her shares, according to documents filed with Superior Court in Fulton County, Georgia. Details of the distribution were reported in January by Atlanta Business Chronicle, 17 months after Bloomberg first reported the dissolution.
"While we have a longstanding policy of not commenting on family matters, I can tell you that the filing to dissolve the trust was related solely to the Cox family’s goal of maintaining future ownership and control of Cox Enterprises," said Elizabeth Olmstead, a Cox spokesperson, in a Nov. 2 e-mail.
Cox Enterprises, a media conglomerate that had $17.1 billion of revenue in 2014 according to its website, is the third-largest cable TV provider in the U.S. and owns Kelley Blue Book, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper and dozens of television and radio properties.
The Bloomberg index values the company at $31.1 billion. It calculates Cox Communications, Cox Media Group and Manheim, a vehicle marketing company, by comparing the segment revenue reported on the Cox website and the enterprise value-to-Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of publicly traded peer companies for each.
Cox also owns 98 percent of AutoTrader, which is valued using the price it paid to purchase a 25 percent stake from Providence Equity Partners in January 2014. It bought publicly traded Dealertrack Technologies, Inc. in October 2015, which is valued at the acquisition cost.
Before the dissolution, Anne Chambers owned 49.4 percent of the business through an income trust established by her father James M. Cox, who founded the company as a newspaper business in 1898 and was a 1920 presidential candidate. Chambers asked the court to distribute her shares, saying she doesn’t need the trust because she gives all its income to charity.