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Sunday Times Rich List reveals wealthiest families in the wine and spirit trade

Published:  19 May, 2014

Laithwaite's owners Tony and Barbara Laithwaite saw their personal wealth increase by £23 million to £148 million in 2014, after a £60 million decline last year, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2014.

Tony Laithwaite, 68, 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 Britain's 1,000 richest people, which was published yesterday (May 18).

A newcomer at number 14 in the list is Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family, worth £6.14 billion. Their  wealth has been built through oil and gas, although since 1989 they have acquired a number of Bordeaux vineyards, including Chateau Lebegorce Zede. The wine portfolio is managed by daughter Nathalie Perrodo Samani.

Silvio Denz, 57, is one of the richest on the list from the wine sector, 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. He is listed in 546th position, worth £171 million.

At number 718 in this year's list is John Apthorp, founder of Majestic Wine. His wealth is listed at £125 million, as per last year. Aside from Majestic, in which he has a £44 million stake, Apthorp made £70 million from the sale of Bejam frozen food.

John Rudd, 87, of London wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd is listed as being worth £120 million, down £2 million on the previous year.

Roger Gabb, 75, founder of South African importer Western Wines, has fallen off this year's richest 1,000 people in Britain list. Last year he was cited as being worth £80 million which he earned from the sale of the company.

On the spirits side, Banffshire whisky distillery William Grant has jumped by £500 million to £1.9 billion moving up into 48th place. 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, which is majority-held by the Glasgow-based Edrington group and has brands including Famous Grouse. The distillery also owns Hendrick's gin. Its profits rose to £152.5 million in 2012.

Vivian Imerman, 58, 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. He is worth £355 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2014.

Aaron and Tania Hillman, worth £200 million, own Tomintoul and Glencadam distilleries. Their wealth has grown by £50 million since last year.  

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, of Liverpool-based drinks distributor Halewood International, saw their personal wealth fall by £70 million to £115 million. The firm saw profits decline to £6.6 million on £275.7 million sales in 2012-13.

Sandy Bulloch and family, sold Loch Lomond Distillers in March for £100 million. The family wealth is listed at £100 million, no change on last year.