Essex Life - - Richest 50 -

Con­struc­tion, £330m

County Mayo-born Ray O’Rourke trained as a civil engi­neer be­fore found­ing the O’Rourke con­struc­tion op­er­a­tion in 1977 with his brother, Des. It was re­named Laing O’Rourke in 2001 when it ac­quired the con­struc­tion divi­sion of John Laing. In 2014-15 Laing O’Rourke had a dis­ap­point­ing year with prof­its sharply down at £20m on a lower turnover of £3.85bn. Brent­wood-based O’Rourke re­ceived an hon­orary knight­hood in 2011 for ser­vices to the UK con­struc­tion industry. We as­sume the O’Rourke fam­ily is the ul­ti­mate owner of the £300m op­er­a­tion and add £30m for other as­sets and past salaries etc.

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