47= JAMIE & JOOLS OLIVER
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.