SPONSORED: Birmingham Post Rich List 2020 – see the top 50 wealthiest people in the West Midlands
Written by The Newsroom on January 23, 2020
Here are the 2020 entrants on the Birmingham Post Rich List – the organisation in brackets is the brand they are most closely associated with.
1. Nassef Sawiris (Aston Villa) £5.7 billion Football/Construction – 2019 No 1 £5.2bn
Egyptian businessman Sawiris, 58, is executive chairman at Aston Villa and he and Wes Edens each bought a 27.5 per cent stake in Aston Villa in the summer of 2018 enabling them to take majority control.
Villa were promoted back to the Premier League in 2019 and the owners are planning an extensive £100 million programme of changes to the ground.
The Sawiris family fortune comes from a multifaceted conglomerate Orascom Construction Industries which has interests in telecommunications, construction and tourism.
2. Lord Bamford and family (JCB) £4.8 billion Manufacturing – 2019 No 2 £4.5bn
Strong export demand in India and China has resulted in profits rising impressively to £447 million and turnover hitting £4.1 billion as the global construction equipment market reached an all-time high of one million machines.
JCB has also opened a new £50 million factory in Staffordshire turning out more than 100,000 cabs a year and creating 200 jobs. However, yellow goods are falling in some markets – particularly Europe, while the company is braced for lower global demand in the year ahead.
3. Guo Guangchang (Wolverhampton Wanderers) £4.5 billion Football/Investment – 2019 No 3 £4.2bn
Guo Guangchang, 52, is the major shareholder and runs the Fosun business, which has investment assets in the Europe including Club Med, nursery brand Silver Cross and entertainment group Cirque de Soleil.
Guangchan is also the owner of Wolves, which he bought for £30 million in 2016, and who finished seventh in the Premier League last season after promotion, are currently enjouying a Europa League cup run. Wolves are now the richest club in the West Midlands according Deloitte’s new Football Money League rankings, turning over £167m in the 2018/19 season.
4. Guochuan Lai (West Bromwich Albion) £2.2 billion (£2.5bn) Football/Eco-towns – 2019 No 4 £2.6bn
Guochuan Lai and his company Yunyi Guolai (Shanghai) Sports Development paid former chairman Jeremy Peace around £200 million in 2016 for an 88 per cent controlling interest in WBA Holdings Ltd. Following relegation profits dipped but the Baggies are eyeing up automatic promotion this season.
As former general manager of Chinese landscaping giant palm he helped develop the company from a regional landscape engineering company to one of the biggest in China. He remains a director of a number of Palm’s subsidiaries including Belt Collins International, Palm Landscape (Hong Kong), and Palm Design Holdings. Palm is also the principal sponsor of West Bromwich Albion.
5= Lord Paul of Marylebone & Family (Caparo) £2 billion Manufacturing – 2019 No 8 £1.5bn
Lord Paul’s business interests have recovered from the steel industry crisis which saw much of its UK assets go into administration before being acquired by the Gupta family’s Liberty House Group.
Some of the Caparo group – of which Lord Paul is chairman – survived, and it still has extensive property investments in the UK and Switzerland, as well as hotels.
5= Wes Edens (Aston Villa) £2 billion Football/Investment – 2019 No 5 £1.9bn
Investment banker Wes Edens is co-chairman of Aston Villa, having taken a 55 per cent stake in the club jointly with Nassef Sawiris in 2018.
The 58-year-old is co-founder of Fortress Investment Group, a private equity firm set up in 1998, and focussed on investment in major infrastructure projects, including a £2.5bn project to build a private passenger railroad in Florida. In 2007 Fortress, where he is still co-chief executive, was one of the first private equity funds to go public. In 2017 it was bought by SoftBank for more than £3bn.
7. John Bloor (Bloor Homes/Triumph) £1.9 billion Manufacturing/Construction – 2019 No 6 £1.85bn
John Bloor’s two main businesses are breaking records. Results published in 2019 show a pre-tax profit of £190 million on record sales of £1.7 billion.
Bloor Investments – parent of Bloor Homes and Triumph Motorcycles – continues to report soaring profits and revenue.
Triumph Motorcycles made a £9.5 million profit in the year to June 2019 despite challenging market conditions. Bloor Homes is one of the largest privately-owned housebuilding groups in the UK and turns over £1.1 billion.
8. John Caudwell (Phones4U) £1.6 billion Mobile Phones – 2019 No 7 £1.56bn
The Birmingham-born businessman, aged 66, entered the realm of the super-rich in August 2006 when he sold his Phones4U mobile phone empire for £1.46 billion.
Now most of his interests are in property through his Caudwell Collection business. He has also set up charities such as Caudwell Children, which over the past 20 years has helped provide specialist equipment, treatment and therapy for sick and disabled children in the UK.
9. Jacques Gaston Murray and family (Andrew Sykes) £1.25 billion Manufacturing – 2019 No 9 £1.2bn
Jacques Gaston Murray is the oldest person in our list – he will be 100 next month – but he still takes an active interest in his Wolverhampton air conditioning and heating firm, despite being resident in Switzerland.
One of his two main businesses is the Wolverhampton-based AIM-listed Andrew Sykes Group, supplying industrial heating and air conditioning. The business is building its revenue both in the UK and overseas, with turnover rising to £78.6 from £71.3 million for the year to December 2018. Pre-tax profits grew to £20.7 million.
10. Lord Edmiston (IM Group) £1.1 billion Property/Automotive – 2019 No 10= £1bn
The IM Group is made of the property company IM Properties and the International Motors automotive franchises and has net assets of well over £600 million. Pre-tax profits exceed £60 million.
He is one of the UK’s biggest philanthropic donors and is devoting more of his time to religious and educational charities. He set up Christian Vision in 1988, a worldwide charity aiming to help a billion people.
11. Tony Gallagher (Gallagher Developments) £1 billion Construction – 2019 No 12 £925m
Tony Gallagher is now busy building up a £1 billion private rented sector portfolio in London and other major cities. He’s not short of the cash to do it, having pocketed £525 million from the sale of Gallagher Estates in 2017. The Warwick-based business was acquired by a London housing association.
Gallagher Developments, his retail and property investment and development business, continues to acquire and develop prime commercial land.
12. Sir Peter Rigby (Rigby Group) £980 million IT/Aerospace – 2019 No 11 £950m
Sir Peter Rigby’s Warwickshire-based Rigby Group – one of the largest private businesses in the Midlands – unveiled another set of record-breaking performance figures in September.
Revenues have increased by nearly £400 million while profits in the year to March 2019 are higher than at any time in its 44-year history at £65.4 million.
13. Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan (2 Sisters) £680 million Food – 2018 No 14 £700m
Ranjit Boparan, the founder of the 2 Sisters Food Group, has taken back control of the company’s core poultry operation. He has replaced UK poultry managing director Andrew McInnes.
The move comes as the group has been undergoing significant restructuring, divesting loss-making or non-core divisions. The strategy seems to be meeting with success, with losses stemmed and turnover increasing in a challenging marketplace.
14. Caspar MacDonald-Hall (LCP) £600 million Property – 2018 No 15 £560m
Caspar MacDonald-Hall’s main source of wealth is the Kingswinford-based London & Cambridge Properties which has a property portfolio.
In the year to March 2019 revenue was up at £130 million compared to £121 million the previous year. Pre-tax profits were down at £60.3 million but underlying profits rose by six per cent when previous revaluations and disposals were taken into account.
15. Richard Harpin (HomeServe) £620 million (£360m) Insurance – 2019 No 16 £520m
Richard Harpin’s HomeServe, the Walsall-based home maintenance and insurance firm which he founded in 1993, is going from strength to strength. The company’s rapid growth, especially in the US, means the share price keeps going up, as do dividends.
Turnover in the six months to September 2019 increased to just shy of £458 million, with profits two per cent up to £37.7 million.
16. Roy Richardson and family (Richardsons) £490 million Construction – 2019 No 17 £480m
The Richardson family is actively involved in the boom in the click-and-collect market. Their business is working on a network of 25 logistics hubs around the country to take advantage of this growing market.
The family’s long-established partnership with Europe’s premier outlet operator McArthurGlen will see them establish a new £160 million West Midlands outlet, opening in Cannock later this year, creating around 1,000 jobs for local people, and another in Remschied, Germany, in 2021.
17. Thomas Hartland-Mackie and family (CEF) £450 million Electricals – 2019 No 18 £470m
The Mackie family’s Kenilworth-based City Electrical Factors Holdings Ltd is the UK’s leading electrical wholesale network.
The growth in electric vehicles and demand for charging points is creating opportunities for the company. Pretax profits in 2018 dropped a little to £17.3 million but turnover was eight per cent up at £533.5 million.
18. Sir Paul Ruddock (Landsdowne) £305 million Hedge Funds – 2019 No 21 £300m
Lansdowne Partners, the award-winning London-based hedge fund, was co-founded by Sir Paul Ruddock in 1998. He retired from the business in 2013. Since his retirement Sir Paul has devoted himself to the arts.
He is a trustee of the British Museum, honorary senior research fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the main benefactor behind the £10 million performing arts centre at his old school – King Edward’s in Edgbaston.
19. Dean Hoyle (The Works) £300 million Stationery – 2019 No 20 £310m
Dean Hoyle’s Hams Hall-based stationery business The Works floated on the London Stock Exchange in summer 2018 in a listing which valued the business at £100 million.
The Works.co.uk has opened 50 new stores and online sales are nearly 40 per cent up. In the period to April 2019 the company turned over £217 million – a significant increase on the previous year, and grew profits to £6.7 million.
20. Julia and Guy Hands (Hand Picked Hotels) £265 million Hotels – 2019 No 22 £265m
Julia and Guy Hands own some of the Midlands’ most prestigious hotels including the magnificent neo-Gothic Ettington Park, near Stratfordupon-Avon, and the fashionable late-medieval New Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield.
They also own the 16th century Stanbrook Abbey Hotel in Callow End, Worcester. All three are part of the Hand Picked Hotels group, a collection of 19 exclusive country hotels around the UK and the Channel Islands.
21. Paul Newey (Ocean Finance) £240 million Finance – 2019 No 24 £240m
In 2006 when Newey sold Ocean Finance – the Tamworth debt consolidation business he founded in 1991 – for £200 million. He sold the business to American General, a subsidiary of US insurance giant AIG.
A semi-professional poker player, he has pocketed prize money of £156,000, which is small change compared to his recent £1.3 million big win on a Las Vegas slot machine. On the poker table he is ranked eighth in the England all-time money winners list.
22 = Andrew Thorpe and family (FW Thorpe) £230 million Lighting – 2019 No 35 £220m
Andrew Thorpe, grandson of the founder of Redditchbased lighting company FW Thorpe, retired from his role as executive director in the summer. He remains as a non-executive director.
In the year to June 2019, FW Thorpe grew its revenue to £110 million while pre-tax profits held steady at £19.5 million. Thorlux Lighting won a 2019 Queens Award for innovation.
22 = Andrew and Linda Leaver (Clinigen) £230 million Pharmaceuticals – 2019 No 26 £225m
Andrew and Linda Leaver’s Burton-on-Trent based pharmaceutical company Clinigen is continuing on the acquisition trail with an £80 million share placing is helping to fund acquisitions.
Last year it completed the acquisition of the US rights to anti-cancer drug Proleukin. In a £160 million deal Clinigen reached agreement with Novartis for the rights to the drug which is used for melanoma and renal cell carcinoma treatment.
24 = Keith Bradshaw (Listers) £220 million Care Homes/Automotive – 2019 No 29= £220m
Keith Bradshaw co-founded the Listers car dealership with business partner Terry Lister 40 years ago. Since then it has grown into England’s largest independent dealer group.
In the year to the end of March 2019 turnover was broadly flat at £1.23 billion, though some of this lack of increase was due to changes in the way Audi sells through franchised outlets. Pre-tax profits increased from £11.8 million to £13.4 million.
24= Chris and Michael Miller (Harris & Sheldon) £220million Investment/Country Sports – 2019 No 29= £200m
Chris and Michael Miller own Harris & Sheldon, the property and investment group which is now London-based having vacated its offices at Packington Hall in Meriden in 2018.
In addition the brothers own some of the UK’s major country sports destinations with significant fishing and shooting assets. The Harris & Sheldon group net assets in excess of £105 million.
26. Simon Clarke and family (St Modwen) £210 million Property/Construction – 2019 No 28 £210m
eveloper St Modwen is building its largest ever speculative project on Tamworth Logistics park, providing 480,000 sq ft of industrial and logistics space.
Full year revenues at Simon Clarke’s St Modwen surged by almost £120 million in the year to November 2018. The company turned over £433 million compared to £318 million for the same period the previous year.
27= James Holder (Superdry) £200 million Fashion – 2019 No 29= £200m
Studley-born James Holder, 47, left Superdry in 2016, but retains 10 per cent of the shares and is a design consultant to the company. He has developed hundreds of new products to bear the Superdry brand.
The company Holder founded with Julian Dunkerton and Theo Karpathios in 2003 is building its online and overseas presence, focusing on mainland Europe, the United States and China. Holder also founded the BMX and skateboarder label Bench.
27= Peter Horton (Hortons’ Estate) £200 million Construction – 2019 No 35= £180m
Peter Horton, 50, chairs the family firm, Hortons Estate, the company behind the £14 million restoration of the Grand Hotel in Colmore Row.
The company traces its roots back to the 1870s when Peter Horton’s great, great, great grandfather developed the Midland Hotel (now the Macdonald Burlington) in Birmingham city centre. The reopening of the Grand Hotel later this year could see it become Birmingham’s sole five-star hotel. As well as chairing Hortons, Peter Horton is divisional director of Investec Wealth and Investment.
29 Jeremy Peace (WBA/Quadrant) £200million (£200m) Finance/Football 2019 No 31= £190m
Jeremy Peace sold his 88 per cent share of West Bromwich Albion football club in 2016 after nearly 16 years at the club, netting more than £175 million.
The club was bought by Guochuan Lai’s Shanghai-based Sports Development Ltd. Aged 63, former banker Peace is a lifelong Baggies supporter and was born and bred in West Bromwich.
30= Sir Euan Anstruther Gough-Calthorpe (Calthorpe Estates) £185 million Property – 2019 No 33= £185m
Sir Euan, 53, controls Calthorpe Estates, which belongs to one of Birmingham’s oldest families stretching back to 1717.
Celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2018, the estate is engaged in the Edgbaston Medical Quarter on the former Pebble Mill site and a £300 million garden square development off Hagley Road.
Sir Euan also has property interests in Europe and the Gulf and interests in America.
30= Michael Wright (Riviera Travel) £185 million Travel – 2019 No 36= £175m
Burton-on-Trent businessman Michael Wright had a substantial Christmas payday in December 2017 when Riviera Travel, the business he founded, was sold on to European private equity firm Silverfleet for £250 million.
Riviera, which specialises in cruises and tours for the over-55s employs around 140 people. Wright resigned as a director but retains a 20 per cent stake in the business, which has £59.7 million in assets.
32. Geoff Wilding (Victoria Carpets) £180 million Carpets – 2019 No 23 £200m
Kidderminster-based Victoria Carpets has has moved away from carpet manufacture, and is concentrating on the distribution of finished products aimed at the retail market.
Geoff Wilding, aged 56, is the single largest shareholder in Victoria. He made £18.4 million from the sale of shares in 2017 and a further £41.4 million in 2018, but still retains a 29 per cent holding.
33. Rupert Mucklow (A&J Mucklow) £170 million Construction – 2019 No 39= £150m
Rupert Mucklow sold Black Country industrial property group A and J Mucklow Group last year in a deal worth £415 million. He is due to step down from his roles as chairman and chief executive.
The business, founded in 1933 and a stalwart of the London Stock Exchange for almost 60 years, was acquired by property investor LondonMetric.
34= Anthony and Graham Coombs and family (S&U) £165 million Finance – 2019 33= £185m
Twins Anthony and Graham Coombs and their families have a 52 per cent stake in S&U, the Solihull credit business founded in Birmingham before the war by Welshman Clifford Coombs. That was in 1938. Now the company, which specialises in consumer credit and card finance, with a focus on specialist motor finance and the property bridging market. Despite the slowdown in the car market, demand for S&U’s motor finance is growing.
34= Alan Jackson and family (Intercity Technology) £165 million Telecommunications – 2019 No 38 £154m
Alan Jackson’s Intercity Technology Holdings is still coming up with product innovations 35 years after it was established.
The business turned over more than £33 million in 2018. Intercity is run by Alan Jackson’s 38-year-old son Andrew. Jackson, aged 66, has kept pace with technology and introduced cloud technology in 2007 before most people had even heard of it.
36. Noel Sweeney and family (Chasetown Civil Engineering) £160m Engineering – New Entry
Noel Sweeney founded Chasetown Civil Engineering 46 years ago. It remains a family-owned business with a wide portfolio of clients.
Chasetown’s parent company is Staffordshire-based Tara Developments, owned by Noel Sweeney and his family. Tara is a holding company which also includes Cameron Homes, Cameron Estate Management, Keon Homes and Galliers Homes. The business is profitable, with 2018 pre-tax profits of £19.5 million on a turnover of £182 million and it has assets totalling £60 million.
37= Simon and Yu-Lin Wilson (Intouch Games) £156 million Gaming – 2019 No 39= £150m
Simon and Yu-Lin Wilson’s Halesowen-based Intouch Games was crowned the region’s Digital Business of the Year at the end of 2018. The e-gaming firm behind PocketWin and mFortune took the top prize at the West Midlands Tech Awards run by BirminghamLive and CoventryLive.
The company is one of the UK’s largest privately-owned e-gaming businesses and has developed multiple, world-leading brands. Simon Wilson, 49, and Yu-Lin Wilson, 45, have a 75 per cent stake in the business.
37= Constantine Folkes (Folkes Holdings) £155 million Property/Manufacturing – 2019 No 43 £130m
A healthy UK property holding – mainly Midlands-based industrial and logistics units – combined with valuable property interests in South Africa including a game reserve in the Eastern Cape have ensured a healthy income for Constantine Folkes and his family.
Investments in property, financial services and retail of around £20 million are bringing in strong returns. The Folkes Holdings property business operates across the UK and South Africa. Its major property interest in the UK is 1.4 million sq ft of largely industrial property with more than 90 tenants across the West and East Midlands.
39= Nick Grey (GTech) £150 million Domestic appliances – 2019 No 37= £155m
GTech , which employs 220 people, is 90 per cent owned by Nick Grey, 51, and his wife Louise. The business has sold more than 25 million products in 19 countries.
A major restructuring of the business and some significant investment costs have put a temporary brake of the soaraway success of Worcestershire-based Gtech. A pre-tax profit of £15 million in 2017 turned into a loss of £3.5 million in 2018, while turnover dropped to £93.2 million from £120.8 million the previous year. However, Gtech expects turnover to recover and profits to come back in the latest financial year.
39= Jeremy Woolridge and family (Wedge Group) £150 million Manufacturing – 2019 No 39 £150m
Jeremy Woolridge’s Willenhall-based Wedge Group, which galvanises steel and iron components, saw turnover jump by eight per cent in the year to March 2019, reaching £174.1 million.
Revenue was boosted by strong sales volumes in the UK and US, with a little help from exchange rates. Higher distribution costs and one-off items made a small dent in profits, but they were still healthy at £17.2 million.
41. Ozzy Osbourne & family (Black Sabbath) Music £145 million – 2019 No 42 £140m
(Image: Birmingham Mail)
It’s been a busy few years for legendary Brummie rocker Ozzy, 72 whose band tours are still bringing in the cash. The Black Sabbath tour in 2014 culminated in a hometown Christmas gig and added nearly £45 million to the group’s coffers.
In 2017 there was “The End” tour, and then the “No More Tours” tour in 2018. A planned hometown gig at Resorts World Arena was supposed to have taken place last February but had to be cancelled when the Brummie frontman was diagnosed with a severe respiratory infection. So he and the band are now on their “No More Tours 2” tour, covering the dates that had to be cancelled, and his Birmingham gig will be on Valentine’s Day next month.
42. Mike Walker and family (Karndean) £140 million Flooring – 2019 44= £128m
Mike Walker founded the Evesham-based international flooring company Karndean back in 1973. In 2018, the entire issued share capital of the company was acquired by Warrington-based venture capital company Knight Ventures Ltd.
The business made pre-tax profits of £11.3 million in 2018, on an increased sales revenue of £87.4 million. It has net assets of £32 million.
43. The Sodha Brothers (Lexon) £135 million Pharmaceuticals – 2019 No 48= £120m
Brothers Anup, 57, Nitin, 64, and Pankaj Sodha, 66, and their nephew Pritesh Sonpal, 51, established their Redditch-based pharmaceuticals empire, Lexon, in 1995.
Their company, Lexon, delivers drugs to more than 3,000 independent pharmacies and major groups across the UK and has become one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors in the country.
44. Terry Lister (Listers) £130 million Automotive – 2019 No 44= £128m
(Image: John Hipkiss)
Terry Lister co-founded the Listers car dealership in Coventry with business partner Keith Bradshaw in 1979. Now, more than 40 years later, it is England’s largest independent dealer group.
The Stratford-upon-Avon based company makes good profits and turns over more than £1 billion a year. Despite a 8.6 per cent drop in new car sales, profits grew from £11.9 million to £13.4 million in 2018-19, helped by an increase in used car sales.
45. Jackie Hudson (Instarmac) £128 million Road Surfacing – 2019 46= £125m
Jackie Hudson owns 90 per cent of Instarmac, the Tamworth-based construction firm set up by her late husband Charles.
He set the business up in 1977 after watching an episode of the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World which demonstrated a new type of tarmac that could be spread on the road cold, rather than hot, and used for pothole repairs. He bought the idea for £1,000 and started the business – then known as Instarmac Repair Services – which is now worth more than £130 million.
46= Jeff Lynne – (ELO) Music – New Entry – £125m
(Image: Publicity pic)
After playing to 60,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in 2017, Lynne, 73, went on to release a film of the concert and then embarked on a US arena tour.
He followed that up with more UK gigs last summer. These tours are keeping Jeff Lynne’s coffers topped up nicely and he returns to our 2020 Rich List. It’s been a busy time for the modest rocker from Shard End. In 2017 ELO was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
46= Jo Bradwell (The Binding Site) £125 million Pharmaceuticals – 2019 No 46= £125m
Professor Jo Bradwell founded Birminghambased medical diagnostics company the Binding Site in 1983. It is a classic example of how discoveries in the laboratory can achieve considerable commercial success.
The company was spun out of research work undertaken at the University of Birmingham, where he studied medicine. The team developed a new way to produce highly sensitive antibodies which could be used for diagnostic tests to identify childhood immune deficiencies and blood cancers in adults.
48= Woon Wing Yip (Wing Yip) £120 million (£115m) Food – 2019 No 50 £115m
Turnover has reached almost £120 million at Woon Wing Yip’s Chinese food business despite challenges from exchange rate fluctuations, changes in consumer spending, a squeeze on disposable incomes and rising raw material costs.
The Nechells headquartered business saw an improved turnover in 2018 from £109.7 million to £118.8m. Profits grew from £3.4 million to £4 million. Woon Wing Yip OBE has taken a step back from the company he co-founded with his brother Sammy. But the business continues to invest, and also grow the property business which has £36 million in net assets.
50. Dr Dallas Burston (Stoneythorpe Estate) £115million Pharmaceuticals/Events – 2019 No 48 £120m
Dr Dallas Burston is passionate about polo, and his 600-acre Dallas Burston Polo Club in Warwickshire is one of the leading venues for the sport in the UK, as well as being a top-notch exclusive wedding venue.
The Southam-based club has been undergoing a £122 million investment programme. The 12-year development at the 600-acre site on the Stoneythorpe estate includes a 3,000 seat events centre, 100 luxury lodges, a hotel, a traditional pub – the Millstone Hare, four polo grounds, a chukka ground, a polo school and a players’ pavilion, not to mention 200 acres of woodland.
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