Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Rich List: Laithwaite's Wine owners see personal wealth dip by £60m

Published:  12 May, 2014

Laithwaite's owners Tony and Barbara Laithwaite saw their personal wealth fall by £60 million last year to £125 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Tony Laithwaite, who founded the company in 1969, saw profits for Direct Wines fall by 43% to £6.6 million on £352.5 million sales in 2011-12. The firm blamed the fall in profits on investment in overseas expansion.

A host of other names from the wine and spirits and restaurant trade featured in the list of Britiain's 1,000 richest people, which was published yesterday (May 11).

Silvio Denz, at £169 million was the wealthiest person listed from the wine trade, although his fortune also derives from French perfume and crystal house Lalique. Denz,born in Basel, owns Château Faugères vineyard and runs Art & Fragrance from his London base.

John Apthorp, founder of high street retailer Majestic Wine and family, was listed as having wealth of £125 million. He also made £70 million from the sale of Bejam frozen food. Apthorp, who turns 78 this week, has a £45 million stake in Majestic.

John Rudd, 86, of London wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd is listed as being worth £122 million, up £8 million on the previous year. The firm made £1.3 million profit on £165.3 million sales in 2011-12.

Roger Gabb, 74, founder of South African importer Western Wines, is listed as being worth £80 million from the sale of the company.

Spirits millionaires

Meanwhile, spirits, and especially whisky, had a host of players to add to the list including the Grant & Gordon family who rank 55 in Britain with wealth of £1.4 billion. Profits in the Banffshire whisky distiller William Grant fell from £158 million to £146.5 million in 2011, although sales hit a record £1.049 billion. Founded by William Grant in 1886, the company is controlled by the fifth generation of the family as well as owning 30% of Highland Distillers. With assets of £745 million, William Grant is still worth £1.3 billion.  

Vivian Imerman, 57, used to own Del Monte until its sale in 1999 for £380 million. In 2004, he and former brother-in-law Robert Tchenguiz took control of Whyte & Mackay, making £396 million when it was sold.

Aaron and Tania Hillman, worth £150 million, own Tomintoul and Glencadam distilleries.

The Macdonald family, worth £85 million, made their fortune from Glenmorangie whisky - selling their stake in the company in 2004 for £100 million.

Judy Halewood and family, owners of Halewood International, are listed as being worth £185 million, up £10 million from last year's list. The firm made a profit of £15.1 million on sales of £277.4 million in 2011-12.

Sandy Bulloch and family, is listed as being worth £100 million, up £20 million on last year. Bulloch owned the Loch Lomond distillery, which was acquired by private equity in March 2014. It is not clear whether his listing reflects the sale.  

Restaurant riches

  • Richard Caring: £700 million. Caring owns the 30-strong Côte chain which is up for sale for £120 million. He also owns Caprice Holdings, which runs the Ivy and Scott's in Mayfair.
  • Marlon Abela: £345 million. Lebanon-born Abela, owns London's Michelin-starred Umu and the Greenhouse, and spent £7 million revamping Morton's in Mayfair.
  • Robert Earl: £270 million. Earl, 61, holds 23% of Everton  football club. His Italian restaurant venture, Buca di Beppo, operates from 100 locations in America and is worth £180 milion.
  • Adam and Samuel Kaye and family: £165 million. The Kaye family has a £101 million stake in pizza chain Prezzo.
  • Sir Terence Conran and family: £80 milion. Conran made his fortune from restaurants and design. He sold a 49% stake in his restaurants in 2006 to D&D London.