Essex Life - - RICHEST 50 -

Me­dia & Restau­rants 2018: £60m 2017: £150m (27th)

TV chef Jamie Oliver re­cently re­vealed that his restau­rant chain was hours from bank­ruptcy be­fore he res­cued it by in­ject­ing nearly £13m of his own money into the business. The celebrity chef and en­tre­pre­neur said he still did not fully un­der­stand why Jamie’s Ital­ian ran into fi­nan­cial trou­ble and came close to col­lapse in Septem­ber last year. He has since shut 12 of the chain’s 37 restau­rants and made about 600 staff re­dun­dant in an at­tempt to save the rest of the op­er­a­tion. Oliver has ad­mit­ted that 40% of his ven­tures ended as business fail­ures. In 2015, he shut the last branch of Reci­pease – his chain of cook­ery shops – and the last of his four Bri­tish-themed Union Jacks restau­rants went the same way two years later. Last Oc­to­ber his food mag­a­zine, Jamie, ceased pub­li­ca­tion after al­most 10 years. But it is not all bad news for Oliver who started to cook at the age of eight in his par­ents’ pub. The young Oliver en­rolled at West­min­ster Ca­ter­ing Col­lege after school and dur­ing the sum­mer worked at The Starr restau­rant in Great Dun­mow. Fresh from col­lege he earned his stripes at An­to­nio Carluccio’s trendy Neal Street restau­rant in Covent Gar­den and quickly moved on to be­come as­sis­tant chef at Lon­don’s River Café, where he was spot­ted by a TV pro­ducer film­ing a doc­u­men­tary there. A string of cook books and TV pro­grammes fol­lowed. By 2012 he had shifted 10m books worth £126m. His sep­a­rate Jamie Oliver Hold­ings, which con­trols his me­dia op­er­a­tion, turned in a very de­cent £5.4m profit on nearly £30m sales in 2016. All its sub­sidiaries are prof­itable. In all, de­spite the money he has had to in­ject into Jamie’s Ital­ian, which we value at noth­ing, and the £13m in­jected there from his own re­sources, we reckon Oliver and his wife Jools, mother to their five chil­dren, are worth at least £60m. Jools has her own Jools En­ter­prises op­er­a­tion with £521,000 as­sets in 2016.

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