Growing up with a name like Horst Julius Pudwill had to be tough; I can picture the guy taking some beatings on the playground. But before you start feeling all sorry for him you should know that he just became a billionaire, in large part because people like you are buying more tools.

Horst Pudwill is the chairman of TTI, the Hong Kong based corporation that owns Milwaukee, Ryobi, and AEG. According to a recent article in Forbes, the value of TTI stock (and so – Pudwill's portfolio) doubled last year. Analysts attribute this to the nascent recovery of the US housing market and the reconstruction of areas hit by Hurricane Sandy. TTI is not the only company to have benefited; Home Depot, TTI's biggest customer, has been on a roll and recently reported higher than expected sales and profit. Of the companies owned by TTI, Milwaukee has been doing particularly well.

Here are some of the more interesting tidbits found in the Forbes article:

  • The German-born Pudwill first visited Hong Kong as a sales rep for Volkswagen
  • TTI was founded in 1985 by Pudwill and his business partner Roy Chung Chipping
  • The company started out with 6 employees and specialized in producing power tool battery packs
  • It later became an OEM manufacturer for overseas brands
  • The company currently employs 20,000 people worldwide
  • In 2000 TTI bought Ryobi from a Japanese company
  • In 2005 it bought Milwaukee and AEG from a Swedish company (Atlas Copco)
  • 74% of the company's revenues come from the US; 20% from Europe