November 18, 2014
Chicken Tycoon Pays Millions for Napoleon’s Hat
Napoleon’s famous hat is now the property of a chicken magnate
Poultry is a big business, and it’s apparently quite lucrative, because a South Korean chicken tycoon just bought one of Napoleon’s famous two-pointed hats for a steal at $2.2 million.
Kim Hong-Kuk, the 57-year-old founder of Harim Group, is not the first foodservice executive to buy up an idol’s famous clothes at auction; not long ago the chief executive of KFC Japan spent $21,000 on one of Colonel Sanders’ famous white suits. But Kim paid 100 times that amount for a hat worn by Napoleon, and he says he would happily have paid more.
According to The Local, Kim says he views Napoleon as a kindred spirit and thinks they have a lot in common.
"I've always thought there were certain similarities between him and me in terms of thinking and decision-making,” Kim said, “though I'm nowhere near being as great as Napoleon."
Kim joined the poultry business as a teenager, when he got started with about a dozen chickens. In the years since, he has grown his business into a foodservice corporation that handles pork processing, animal feed, and retail operations in addition to the original poultry production. Harim Group had sales of $4.4 billion last year, so $2.2 million for a hat is just a drop in the bucket.
The sale price was actually five times the estimated value of the hat, but Kim found himself in a bidding war with another Napoleon superfan. Still, he says he got a deal and the hat is “priceless.”