Wealth­i­est Ir­ish dozen now worth more than next 288 put to­gether

They’ve had an up-and-down year but the Mistry fam­ily re­mains streets ahead at the top of the 2017 Rich List of lead­ing Ir­ish movers and shak­ers

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - The Rich List 2017 -

THE MISTRY FAM­ILY €15.4bn s €500m

IN­DUS­TRY The vast wealth of Pal­lonji Mistry (87) and his fam­ily con­tin­ues to out­strip the rest of Ireland’s su­per-rich. Mistry, a reclu­sive In­dian ty­coon with an Ir­ish pass­port, is dubbed ‘The Phan­tom’ at Bom­bay House, the head­quar­ters for Tata, the largest pri­vate con­glom­er­ate in In­dia and the world.

Mistry, who has a fond­ness for whiskey and horses, gave up his In­dian pass­port and be­came an Ir­ish cit­i­zen in 2003, on the ba­sis of his mar­riage to Dublin-born Patsy Perin Dubash. Their chil­dren, Cyrus, Shapoor, Aloo and Laila, are also ci­ti­zens.

The bulk of the Mistry fam­ily wealth comes from an 18.4pc stake in Tata Sons, the hold­ing com­pany for the Tata group, which owns in­ter­ests rang­ing from Jaguar, Land Rover and Tet­ley tea to vast steel works. The com­pany, set up as a trad­ing firm in what was then Bom­bay in 1868, now em­ploys over 660,000 peo­ple in 100 coun­tries.

Mistry’s grand­fa­ther, a prop­erty mogul, bought the stake in the 1930s. His son Cyrus (50), who fol­lowed in his fa­ther’s foot­steps by study­ing at Im­pe­rial Col­lege, Lon­don, be­came chair­man of Tata Group in 2012, the first chair­man in the com­pany’s his­tory not to be a blood relative of the Tata fam­ily.

How­ever, the scion’s role swiftly be­came the stuff of a Bol­ly­wood drama af­ter he was ousted last Oc­to­ber by the Tata board, but he re­fused to go qui­etly. His dis­missal led to a bit­ter spat be­tween him and group pa­tri­arch Ratan Tata, who had led the com­pany for 21 years un­til 2012 and came out of re­tire­ment to serve as in­terim chair­man af­ter Cyrus Mistry’s de­par­ture.

Tata claimed that Mistry was fail­ing to make tough de­ci­sions to turn around ail­ing busi­nesses in the con­glom­er­ate, while Mistry con­demned a phase of GLO­RI­OUS MISTRY: Ireland’s rich­est man, Pal­lonji Mistry, at his of­fice in Mumbai (left) and Tom Hal­l­i­day’s illustration of the Mistry fam­ily, in­clud­ing ma­tri­arch, the Dublin-born Patsy Perin Dubash, at the wheel. debt-fu­elled ex­pan­sion that the com­pany had gone through un­der Ratan Tata and claimed that his pre­de­ces­sor had in­ter­fered with his run­ning of the com­pany.

In Jan­uary, Natara­jan Chan­drasekaran, CEO of Tata Con­sul­tancy Ser­vices, the group’s big­gest cash cow, was named the new chair­man. Among the chal­lenges he faces are help­ing to cut Tata’s €39bn worth of debt and tak­ing on the UK steel mar­ket. In March 2016, Tata put its en­tire Bri­tish steel busi­ness up for sale, say­ing it was un­will­ing to fund a turn­around of the busi­ness and wanted to quit UK steel as quickly as pos­si­ble, but by De­cem­ber vowed to keep the UK steel plants open. The en­tire group had sales of over €98bn last year — roughly four times as much as Face­book’s an­nual rev­enue.

The Mistry fam­ily’s prop­erty in­ter­ests in­clude a White House-style man­sion on an exclusive sea­side stretch of Mumbai over­look­ing the Ara­bian Sea, a stud farm in nearby Pune, a stately home in Sur­rey, and homes in Lon­don, Dubai, Alibaug and Matheran.

2 THE WE­STON FAM­ILY €7.5bn t €600m

RE­TAIL Dublin-born Hi­lary We­ston (75), a 1960s model-turne­dretailer and phi­lan­thropist, is mar­ried to Galen We­ston, Canada’s sec­ond-rich­est man. The pub­lic­ity-shy fam­ily owns a re­tail em­pire that in­cludes Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland, the Loblaw gro­cery chain in Canada, and Sel­fridges — the high-end Bri­tish chain that was the ba­sis of the ITV show Mr Sel­fridge.

The fam­ily’s em­pire in Canada dates back to the late 19th cen­tury. It grew out of the bread fac­tory es­tab­lished in Toronto by Galen’s grand­fa­ther Ge­orge We­ston, That busi­ness pros­pered, be­com­ing the coun­try’s largest bread fac­tory and the foun­da­tion of the fam­ily’s wealth. Ge­orge We­ston is now one of North Amer­ica’s largest food pro­cess­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion groups.

These days, Galen We­ston is grad­u­ally hand­ing over the reins of the busi­ness to the fourth gen­er­a­tion to fo­cus on the luxury end of the fam­ily port­fo­lio, in­clud­ing Sel­fridges and Holt Ren­frew, and to de­vote more time to char­i­ta­ble pur­suits. At Ge­orge We­ston Ltd, Galen Sr has passed the torch to son Galen Jr (44), who is mar­ried to Alexan­dra Schmidt, heiress to the Bata shoe for­tune. Nick­named G2, Galen Jr ran Loblaws, Canada’s big­gest gro­cery chain, un­til he stepped down last year to be­come chair­man of Ge­orge We­ston af­ter his fa­ther left at age 75 as part of a staged suc­ces­sion plan and fam­ily tra­di­tion.

Daugh­ter Alan­nah We­ston was named deputy chair­man in 2014 at Sel­fridges Group and be­came a di­rec­tor on the Ge­orge We­ston board in 2016. Af­ter the We­ston fam­ily took con­trol over Sel­fridges in 2003, Galen We­ston ap­pointed Alan­nah as the cre­ative di­rec­tor. She is mar­ried to ar­chi­tect Alex Cochrane and they live in a 19th-cen­tury home in South Kens­ing­ton in Lon­don with their two daugh­ters.

The fam­ily’s Wit­ting­ton In­vest­ments, which con­trols de­part­ment stores like Brown Thomas and De Bi­jenkorf in the Nether­lands, made a profit of €1.3bn in the year to Septem­ber 17, 2016, up from €860m a year ear­lier, but it also do­nated €129m to char­ity. In Novem­ber 2015, Sel­fridges com­pleted its ac­qui­si­tion of Arnotts in Dublin. The We­stons also own a con­trol­ling stake in Loblaws, which saw its shares — cur­rently val­ued at €26bn — al­most un­changed in the past year.

The ex­tended fam­ily also owns a stake in As­so­ci­ated Bri­tish Foods (ABF), owner of Pen­neys, but shares have been on the slide over the past year.

Galen We­ston first moved to Dublin in the early 1960s, where he met Hi­lary. Her love of fash­ion led to them set­ting up the first Pen­neys in Dublin. As well as their ex­ten­sive re­tail in­ter­ests, the fam­ily owns prop­er­ties such as a 416-acre gated coun­try club at Wind­sor in Vero Beach in Florida and their own pri­vate is­land in a na­tional park in Canada.

When in Bri­tain, they of­ten stay near the royal fam­ily in Eng­land, at Fort Belvedere, for­merly the coun­try home of King Ed­ward VIII.

4 DE­NIS O’BRIEN €4.9bn t €200m

ME­DIA The rich­est in­di­vid­ual born in Ireland is com­mu­ni­ca­tions and me­dia en­trepreneur De­nis O’Brien (58), whose con­sid­er­able as­sets span the tele­coms, me­dia and ho­tels sec­tors, among oth­ers. Among the key projects on his agenda for 2017 is a plan to per­son­ally in­vest up to $450m on a net­work of un­der­sea tele­coms ca­bles link­ing dozens of coun­tries in the Caribbean. The pro­ject could con­nect up to 40 coun­tries.

How­ever, his tele­coms com­pany Dig­i­cel has been hit by cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tions over the past 12 months. The com­pany has laid out an am­bi­tious trans­for­ma­tion plan to ready it for 2030. There will be up to 2,000 job cuts, but the com­pany will re­duce debt and grow earn­ings as cus­tomers buy more so­phis­ti­cated ser­vices. The com­pany has been a mas­sive cash cow for the en­trepreneur, who has taken out close to $1.5bn in div­i­dends in the last decade.

O’Brien, who was born in Cork and raised in Dublin, has sold some as­sets in re­cent years, mak­ing im­pres­sive re­turns. In 2015, he sold off petrol sta­tion chain Topaz, re­ceiv­ing €258m in cash from a Cana­dian buyer.

O’Brien de­cided against sell­ing off his Quinta do Lago re­sort in Por­tu­gal, which he bought for about €31m in 1998. Now val­ued at well in ex­cess of €220m, he has ex­ten­sive plans to de­velop and ex­pand the luxury de­vel­op­ment.

He has also bought a ho­tel near his PGA Catalunya golf re­sort out­side Barcelona in Spain and is a backer of a hip new ho­tel in Dublin 8. He also owns Ac­tavo — for­merly Site­serv — which recorded a 25pc in­crease in prof­its to €18m in 2015.

O’Brien’s for­tune was orig­i­nally gen­er­ated by build­ing up tele­coms firm Esat in the late 1990s be­fore sell­ing it to BT, net­ting about €317m in cash. Apart from his ra­dio as­sets, which in­clude To­day FM and New­stalk, he is a share­holder in In­de­pen­dent News & Me­dia, pub­lisher of this news­pa­per.

He owns a €65m Gulf­stream G650ER, which he re­ceived de­liv­ery of in late 2015 and has a new one on order. He has also emerged as the owner of a luxury six-bed­room ski chalet in the French Alps called Chalet Cho­co­lat Chaud (Chalet Hot Choco­late), which can be rented for €33,000 a week.

O’Brien bought Bal­ly­nahinch Cas­tle Ho­tel in Con­nemara, one of the coun­try’s top ho­tels, in 2015. He owns many fine prop­er­ties in­clud­ing a home in af­flu­ent Balls­bridge. The busi­ness­man has sig­nif­i­cant phil­an­thropic in­ter­ests and helps many good causes, fund­ing char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions in Ireland and abroad.

A keen sports­man, he has paid the wages of the Ireland foot­ball team man­ager and is also a ma­jor, but low pro­file, sup­porter of Ir­ish rugby. He is well known for his sup­port of the Spe­cial Olympics.

3 JOHN GRAYKEN €6.13bn s €1bn

FI­NANCE Amer­i­can pri­vate equity mogul John Grayken (60) re­nounced his Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ship in 1999 for tax pur­poses and be­came an Ir­ish cit­i­zen. He is the founder and sole owner of Dallas-based Lone Star Funds, which has raised €67bn to buy up as­sets since he set it up in 1995. The se­cre­tive Grayken’s strat­egy is to buy dis­tressed prop­erty as­sets in coun­tries ex­pe­ri­enc­ing eco­nomic tur­moil, clean them up and flip the as­sets for a huge profit. He made a for­tune in Ja­pan and south east Asia dur­ing the late 1990s and turned his at­ten­tion to Ireland dur­ing the fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Lone Star was among the big­gest buy­ers of loans and as­sets sold off by the Ir­ish banks and Nama fol­low­ing the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

Ac­cord­ing to a damn­ing Forbes pro­file pub­lished last year, Grayken rules his em­pire with an iron fist, with the German press call­ing Lone Star “the Ex­e­cu­tioner from Texas” af­ter the firm bought non­per­form­ing loans that re­sulted in home­owner fore­clo­sure pro­ceed­ings. Forbes dubbed him one of “the rob­ber barons of the new mil­len­nium” for his long track record of profit­ing from delinquent mort­gages and other bat­tered fi­nan­cial as­sets. Grayken runs his em­pire from the UK, where he owns a man­sion in Chelsea, pur­chased for €66m through a Ber­muda com­pany, mak­ing it the most ex­pen­sive house in the UK. He also owns Py­ford Court, the sprawl­ing Ed­war­dian stately home in Sur­rey where clas­sic hor­ror chiller The Omen was filmed in 1976. The fa­ther of four is also said to own a €100m wa­ter­side man­sion on Lake Geneva, a su­per-yacht in the Caribbean called the Vir­ginian, and a pri­vate is­land in Co­has­set, off the South Shore in Mas­sachusetts, where he grew up. Grayken also splashed out €35m last sum­mer on a 13,000-sq ft pen­t­house at the top of the new Mil­len­nium Tower Boston, a record for a condo in the city.

5 PEARSE LYONS €3.3bn s €400m

AN­I­MAL NUTRITION An­i­mal nutrition ac­counts for most of the for­tunes amassed by All­tech ty­coon Pearse Lyons (72), but it’s his brew­ing divi­sion that has been grab­bing the lime­light of late. He worked at Harp Lager in Dun­dalk while study­ing bio­chem­istry at UCD (he also has a Master’s in brew­ing sci­ence), be­fore us­ing his sci­en­tific back­ground to pro­duce su­pe­rior an­i­mal feeds. He has turned his at­ten­tion to whiskey, hav­ing bought and re­stored a 19th-cen­tury church on Dublin’s James’s Street to house the Pearse Lyons Dis­tillery. His wife Deirdre, All­tech’s co-founder and di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate im­age and de­sign, has been heav­ily in­volved in the dis­tillery.

All­tech is head-quartered in Ken­tucky. Lyons started in 1980 from his garage with just $10,000 in seed cap­i­tal. The shares are held by the fam­ily, which in­cludes son Mark, who heads up All­tech’s greater China op­er­a­tion. In Jan­uary 2016, when All­tech ac­quired Master­feeds, a lead­ing an­i­mal nutrition com­pany in Canada, All­tech said it had more than tripled its sales in the last three years and was on tar­get to achieve $4bn in sales “in the next few years”.

6 JOHN DORRANCE €2.55bn s €62m

SOUP John Dorrance III’s wealth orig­i­nates from a 10.5pc stake he in­her­ited in the late 1990s in Camp­bell’s Soup, the iconic Amer­i­can brand. His grand­fa­ther in­vented Camp­bell’s for­mula for con­densed soup, and his rel­a­tives are still the com­pany’s largest share­hold­ers. The pub­lic­ity-shy Dorrance moved to Ireland from his 18,000-acre ranch in Wy­oming and the Ir­ish govern­ment gave him a pass­port af­ter he in­vested $1.5m in a tree-planting pro­ject. The low-pro­file bil­lion­aire (73), nick­named ‘Ippy’ Dorrance, owns a home in Dartry in Dublin 6.

7 JOHN MAGNIER €2.2bn s €160m

FI­NANCE Cool­more Stud’s John Magnier (69) made his ini­tial for­tune from his horse-breed­ing em­pire. But most of his wealth — along with that of his friend and fel­low horse-rac­ing ty­coon JP McManus — now comes from in­vest­ments. This in­cludes buy­ing and sell­ing govern­ment and cor­po­rate bonds and cur­rency trad­ing (Magnier is widely be­lieved to have made a killing when the Mex­i­can peso de­val­ued in 1994). Magnier and McManus re­cently sold an of­fice and re­tail build­ing on the exclusive Place Ven­dome in Paris, be­side the Ritz Ho­tel, for €1bn, with a re­ported profit of €350m on the deal.

Magnier, the son of a Co Cork landowner, was ed­u­cated at Glen­stal Abbey in Co Lim­er­ick but had to leave school at 15 on the death of his fa­ther to take charge of the fam­ily es­tate near Fer­moy. He later moved to Fethard in Co Tip­per­ary, where he trans­formed Cool­more Stud into a multi-mil­lion euro busi­ness, mak­ing a for­tune for him­self in the process and be­com­ing Ireland’s lead­ing thor­ough­bred stud owner. Cham­pion sires to have stood at the 7,000-acre stud in­clude Sadler’s Wells and Dane­hill.

He is un­der­stood to have been one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the €1.1bn sale of Lon­don City Air­port in 2006. He owns 20pc of UK nurs­ing home group Barch­ester, which in Oc­to­ber re­ported it had share­holder funds of €130m by the end of 2015. Magnier also co-owns with McManus a 23pc stake in €1.2bn-val­ued Mitchells & But­lers (M&B), Bri­tain’s big­gest pub group.

Shares of M&B have slipped over the last year amid con­cern about the im­pact of Brexit on the pub chain’s costs and af­ter pre-tax prof­its for the year to Septem­ber 24 fell by more than 25pc. Ear­lier this year, the blood­stock bil­lion­aire and his fam­ily ac­quired the Sut­ton Scot­ney Es­tate in Hamp­shire, which in­cludes 24 homes and more than 4,000 acres of land, for an es­ti­mated €52m.

Magnier is mar­ried to Su­san, the daugh­ter of Ir­ish race­horse-trainer Vin­cent O’Brien, and they have five chil­dren. He has a prop­erty port­fo­lio that stretches from a €30m beach-front pad in Mar­bella, which was once rented to David Beck­ham, and the 18th-cen­tury Cashel Palace Ho­tel in Co Tip­per­ary, which he bought for an es­ti­mated €2.25m, and has an in­ter­est in the exclusive Sandy Lane Re­sort in Bar­ba­dos. He also has a stun­ning art col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing a €70m Modigliani paint­ing and a €25m Sir Joshua Reynolds por­trait. FI­NANCE JP McManus (65), dubbed ‘The Sun­dance Kid’, started life as a bookie but soon switched his at­ten­tion to cur­rency and bond mar­kets. McManus, a tax res­i­dent of Switzer­land, con­ducts his cur­rency op­er­a­tions from his trad­ing nerve-cen­tre in Geneva.

McManus of­ten in­vests with John Magnier and the pair, along with Der­mot Des­mond, con­trol the €1bn-val­ued Sandy Lane beach-front re­sort in Bar­ba­dos, hav­ing bought it with a con­sor­tium in 1998. They also own a 23pc stake in Bri­tain’s big­gest

9 JP McMANUS €2bn s €150m 8 COL­LI­SON BROTHERS €2.1bn s €720m

TECH­NOL­OGY Lim­er­ick brothers John (26) and Pa­trick (28) have gone from be­ing highly gifted stu­dents to pa­per bil­lion­aires in just a few short years. This year’s Rich List con­tin­ues to see them gal­lop up the rank­ings with val­u­a­tions for their mi­cro-pay­ments firm, Stripe, rac­ing ahead ev­ery few months.

A fundrais­ing last Novem­ber en­sured they are each bil­lion­aires. It brought in $150m, giv­ing the com­pany a $9bn val­u­a­tion. The brothers each own around 12pc of the busi­ness, giv­ing them a net worth of over $1bn each.

The brothers have been mak­ing money since their teens — they sold their first com­pany, Auc­tomatic, for $5m in 2008.

They both se­cured highly soughtafter places in Har­vard and MIT but dropped out to pur­sue their en­trepreneurial lean­ings and set up Stripe in 2010. They dis­cov­ered that busi­nesses found ar­rang­ing on­line pay­ments dif­fi­cult and they had an idea — sim­pli­fy­ing on­line trans­ac­tions. With ini­tial back­ing from Tesla founder Elon Musk and Paypal’s Peter Thiel, the com­pany kept on grow­ing.

Forbes has de­scribed the busi­ness as “a mo­bile pay­ments phe­nom­e­non”. It em­ploys over 600 peo­ple. pub com­pany M&B, though the chain’s shares have dipped over the last year.

The pair have made good money from their stake in nurs­ing home busi­ness Barch­ester, which had share­holder funds of €130m by the end of 2015. In De­cem­ber, Magnier and McManus sold an of­fice and re­tail build­ing on the exclusive Place Ven­dome in Paris, be­side the Ritz Ho­tel, for €1bn, with a re­ported profit of €350m on the deal.

McManus also owns one of Ireland’s big­gest pri­vate res­i­dences, a huge neo-Palladian home at Kill­mal­lock, Co Lim­er­ick. The race­horse-owner and his wife Noreen also own a home on the so-called Mil­lion­aires’ Row of Ailes­bury Road, where Noreen won a plan­ning bat­tle with neigh­bours in Novem­ber to fur­ther ex­tend the prop­erty.

McManus spent close to €30m in 2015 to buy Adare Manor, the luxury ho­tel and golf re­sort where he hosts his world fa­mous and celeb-laden Pro-Am for char­ity. Var­i­ous re­ports have stated that he is cur­rently in­vest­ing from €30m up to €50m on re­vamp­ing the re­sort, with a view to stag­ing the Ry­der Cup there in 2026. McManus, known for help­ing char­i­ties and good causes in his na­tive Lim­er­ick, also in­vested €10m in a planned new rugby vis­i­tor cen­tre for Lim­er­ick, headed up by for­mer Ireland and Mun­ster cap­tain, Paul O’Con­nell.

Last year, a Rev­enue state­ment es­ti­mated that the tax ex­ile has paid no in­come tax or cap­i­tal gains tax in Ireland in 20 years. In re­cent weeks, he lost a US le­gal ac­tion to re­cover $5.2m (€4.9m) in tax with­held from his win­nings on a three-day backgam­mon match.

10 DER­MOT DES­MOND €1.8bn s €240m

FI­NANCE Bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man and fi­nancier Der­mot Des­mond (66) worked in bank­ing be­fore set­ting up NCB stock­bro­kers in 1981. He sold out in 1994 for €49m, us­ing the money to build his own pri­vate equity firm, In­ter­na­tional In­vest­ment & Un­der­writ­ing (IIU).

Among his most high-pro­file deals was the sale of Lon­don City Air­port for €1bn in 2006, hav­ing bought it for €30m in 1995. He and oth­ers shared in the con­sid­er­able up­side.

The Cork man also in­vested €475,000 into De­nis O’Brien’s Esat as it pitched for the State’s sec­ond mo­bile li­cence. He later made €120m from the sale of his shares. Other ex­cel­lent re­turns came when he took a €300,000 stake in Bal­ti­more Tech­nolo­gies be­fore sell­ing out at the top of the mar­ket.

He showed sim­i­lar tim­ing with Op­ti­mal Pay­ments, where an ini­tial €20m in­vest­ment was turned into €180m. He also owns bio­met­ric firm Daon, as well as stakes in In­de­pen­dent News & Me­dia, which pub­lishes this news­pa­per, One51 and Datalex. He played a key role in de­vel­op­ing the IFSC in Dublin.

The shrewd deal-maker, who guards his pri­vacy, con­trols Celtic Foot­ball Club. Des­mond also owns part of the exclusive Sandy Lane re­sort in Bar­ba­dos. Mean­while, Des­mond’s sons have ex­panded their busi­ness in­ter­ests, bring­ing the Five Guys burger chain to Ireland, and open­ing trendy bar Zozimus in Dublin.

11 MARTIN NAUGHTON €1.6bn s €100m

IN­DUS­TRY Martin Naughton (77) built up the world’s big­gest man­u­fac­turer of home and com­mer­cial heat­ing ap­pli­ances from a base at Dun­leer, a Louth vil­lage with lit­tle over 5,000 res­i­dents. Glen Dim­plex makes most of the heaters and toast­ers in the world, through brands such as Mor­phy Richards, Stoves and Belling. Glen Dim­plex is an un­lim­ited com­pany and does not have to re­veal its fi­nances. Last April, he said he would leave the board of the com­pany he founded more than 40 years ago, and hand the reins to his long-time CEO, Sean O’Driscoll.

Glen Elec­tric, a UK sub­sidiary which is thought to ac­count for close to half the busi­ness, saw sales fall 5pc last year to €850m. Op­er­at­ing prof­its were also down at €41m be­fore a do­na­tion of al­most €21m to the Naughton Foun­da­tion, which fo­cuses on art and ed­u­ca­tion.

He has sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­ests out­side of Glen Dim­plex in­clud­ing a stake in the five-star Mer­rion Ho­tel and the exclusive restau­rant Pa­trick Guil­baud’s. He also cashed in some of his more ma­ture prop­erty as­sets, of­fload­ing two of­fice blocks in the IFSC for a com­bined €90m in re­cent years.

Naughton, who lives on a 200acre es­tate at Stack­allen House, Co Meath has also in­vested in a num­ber of do­mes­tic Ir­ish firms, rang­ing from wind en­ergy to wa­ter-cool­ers and tele­coms.

13 SHANE SMITH €1.41bn s €701m

ME­DIA Shane Smith’s fam­ily moved from Gal­way to Canada and he once had a sum­mer job as a bar­man in Dublin’s Bag­got Inn. His Dis­ney and News Corp-backed global me­dia firm, Vice, is now thought to be val­ued at $5bn.

As it takes aim at the rather fickle mil­len­nial au­di­ence for TV and web con­tent, the val­u­a­tion may be a frothy one, but it puts his es­ti­mated 30pc stake at €1.41bn, hav­ing dou­bled since last year, go­ing by re­cent me­dia re­ports.

Smith (47), who has re­ported from the likes of North Korea and Iraq, won $1m at a con­sumer elec­tron­ics con­fer­ence in Las Ve­gas three years ago and splurged $300,000 on din­ner after­wards.

Giv­ing a land­mark speech at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val last Au­gust, he said he ex­pects a frenzy of merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions in the world of dig­i­tal me­dia and is aim­ing to grow Vice’s monthly au­di­ence from 380m to 1bn. No pres­sure then.

12 PAUL COUL­SON €1.5bn s €660m

IN­DUS­TRY Known to friends as ‘The Cooler’, Paris-based Coul­son last month listed his com­pany Ardagh, a giant in the pack­ag­ing and glass bot­tle busi­ness. It val­ued his stake at close to €1.5bn, vastly in­creas­ing pre­vi­ous es­ti­mates of his per­sonal wealth.

First founded as the Ir­ish Glass Bot­tle Com­pany in 1932, it has grown mas­sively since Coul­son first in­vested in 1998 and now pro­duces ev­ery­thing from Bud­weiser beer bot­tles to Lynx aerosol cans.

Ardagh has paid huge div­i­dends to Coul­son. He owns prop­er­ties in Dublin’s Shrews­bury Road, a home in Paris and prop­er­ties in Por­tu­gal. There’s also a 164ft yacht off Sar­dinia. He’s a ma­jor donor to the pri­vate Je­suit school Gon­zaga, which has named its the­atre af­ter him.

14 EL­LIS SHORT €1.1bn

s €50m FI­NANCE The Mis­souri­born pri­vate equity baron El­lis Short (in­set) helped John Grayken trans­form Lone Star into a €67bn in­vest­ment giant be­fore set­ting up on his own. He set up Ki­tano Part­ners and in 2013 cre­ated Kil­dare Part­ners to go on a pur­chas­ing spree as Europe’s econ­omy be­gan to re­cover. Kil­dare raised €2bn from in­vestors and spent it rapidly, load­ing up on dis­tressed com­mer­cial, leisure and in­dus­trial prop­erty as­sets across Ireland and Europe, in­clud­ing €100m worth of loans as­so­ci­ated with de­vel­oper Michael O’Flynn’s busi­ness. Like Grayken, he shuns the lime­light.

He bought Sunderland Foot­ball Club from a group of Ir­ish in­vestors in 2008, though the pur­chase has be­come some­what of a headache for Short. The club has de­nied that its owner is ac­tively try­ing to sell it for up to £170m de­spite a brochure be­ing cre­ated last year to ad­ver­tise the ben­e­fits of buy­ing the rel­e­ga­tion­threat­ened out­fit. The club is thought to have ac­cu­mu­lated debt worth €164m.

Short also owns Sk­ibo Cas­tle, Scot­land, the for­mer home of bil­lion­aire in­dus­tri­al­ist An­drew Carnegie, which he now runs as a pri­vate mem­bers’ club. He owns a €40m beach-side pad in Hawaii. Short, who is mar­ried to for­mer ten­nis player Eve Zim­mer­man, holds an Ir­ish pass­port.

16 COMER BROTHERS €1.05bn s €50m

PROP­ERTY Bil­lion­aire brothers Luke (61) and Brian (57) Comer from Gle­na­maddy, Co Gal­way started out as plas­ter­ers to­gether in the early 1970s and made a huge play on the Ir­ish econ­omy dur­ing the re­ces­sion, buy­ing prop­erty at the bot­tom of the mar­ket. Val­ues have risen, mak­ing the brothers very wealthy as a re­sult.

The pair have launched a slew of new hous­ing schemes in Dublin, in­clud­ing Her­sil­wood in Knock­lyon, and own a 110,000sqft (10,220sqm) build­ing in Dublin that Face­book has just agreed to lease.

In the first six months of 2016, the Com­ers spent more than €75m grow­ing their prop­erty em­pire here, in Ger­many and in the UK, hav­ing banked sales of €300m in those coun­tries over the pre­vi­ous 18 months. In July, Luke Comer out­lined plans to in­vest up to a fur­ther €200m in the three coun­tries within 18 months. The brothers es­ti­mated in 2015 that their as­sets, which in­clude stud farms and race­horses, are worth about €3bn (ex­clud­ing debt).

17 EU­GENE MURTAGH €1bn s €288m

IN­DUS­TRY Hav­ing started in­su­la­tion group Kingspan in the back of a pub in Kingscourt, Co Ca­van, founder and now chair­man Eu­gene Murtagh’s 17pc stake in the firm has rock­eted in value in the past year to over €900m, build­ing on the fact that the shares have risen more than ten­fold since 2009. With other as­sets, Murtagh should com­fort­ably be in the bil­lion­aires’ club. The com­pany

re­cently re­ported sales of €3bn, with prof­its hav­ing jumped by 33pc to €341m, and is grow­ing through ac­qui­si­tions and build­ing new fac­to­ries across the world.

Shares are up more than 25pc this year. Help­ing to drive this is the com­pany’s ex­pan­sion into other green con­struc­tion tech­nolo­gies in­clud­ing LED light­ing, fuel and en­ergy stor­age, so­lar pan­els, hy­brid en­ergy sys­tems and small wind tur­bines. Tesla-driv­ing son, Gene, now runs the busi­ness. The Murtaghs also own the Hem­pel Ho­tel in Lon­don, an­other in Am­s­ter­dam.

18 DE­CLAN AND SHANE RYAN €966m s €251m

AVI­A­TION These two sons of the late Tony Ryan in­her­ited his stake in Ryanair, though most of it was sold since the IPO in 1990, en­abling them to bank some €260m.

Wick­low-based en­trepreneur and phi­lan­thropist De­clan in­vests in start-ups such as Coin­drum but has also had con­tin­ued suc­cess build­ing up or back­ing low-cost air­lines across the world in­clud­ing Sin­ga­pore-based Tiger Air­ways, Al­le­giant Air in the US and Vi­vaAer­obus in Mex­ico. The fam­ily’s Ire­landia In­vest­ments sold a 49pc stake in the lat­ter last Novem­ber, which was es­ti­mated to be worth €226m.

Prop­erty in­ter­ests re­port­edly in Bri­tain, Poland, Asia and Mex­ico are also likely to have done well in the past year. Shane is a suc­cess­ful blood­stock farmer, own­ing stud farms in Tip­per­ary and Ken­tucky.

19 DAVID McMURTRY €910m s €250m

IN­DUS­TRY Dubliner David McMurtry’s pre­ci­sion en­gi­neer­ing firm Ren­ishaw has emerged as a sup­plier of hi-tech laser al­time­ters used by drones and is also sup­ply­ing sim­i­lar laser-scan­ning com­po­nents for use in self-driv­ing cars.

Though mainly as­so­ci­ated with hi-tech man­u­fac­tur­ing — the firm is known to sup­ply ma­chin­ery used in the ‘mega-fac­to­ries’ of the giant Chi­nese and Korean mak­ers of Ap­ple and Sam­sung smart­phones. The com­pany of the Clon­tarf-born for­mer Con­corde en­gine trou­bleshooter is also de­vel­op­ing other such prod­uct lines, in­clud­ing med­i­cal robots and in­dus­trial 3D print­ing ma­chines.

The Bris­tol-head­quar­tered busi­ness, in which the 75-yearold car en­thu­si­ast owns a 36pc, €900m-plus stake, em­ploys more than 4,300 around the world, some 200 of whom are in Swords, north Dublin.

21 U2 €795m s €40m

MU­SIC Bono (56), The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clay­ton may be around for over four decades but they re­main Ireland’s wealth­i­est mu­sic act. The Dublin rock­ers, who shifted parts of their busi­ness to the Nether­lands 11 years ago to re­duce tax, made €52m in the 12 months through June, ac­cord­ing to Forbes.

As the im­por­tance of record sales be­gan to di­min­ish, U2 be­came a tour­ing ma­chine. An­other tour will fol­low this year to mark the 30th an­niver­sary of The Joshua Tree, with 1.1m tick­ets sold world­wide in the first 24 hours of go­ing on sale in Jan­uary, mean­ing U2 could com­mand up to €93m from the en­deav­our. The band’s 360 tour from 2009 to 2011 was the high­est-gross­ing tour of all time, with the band said to have made €660m out of it. Out­side of mu­sic, band mem­bers have di­verse in­ter­ests and in­vest­ments in­clud­ing a stake in the Clarence Ho­tel, which recorded prof­its of more than €430,000 for 2015, and Dublin Dock­land prop­er­ties. The Dublin­ers also own some smash­ing houses, from Killiney Hill to valu­able beach­front cas­tles in Eze and Beaulieu on the Cote D’Azur. Bono is a part­ner in $1.9bn US tech ven­ture cap­i­tal firm El­e­va­tion, which is sit­ting on strato­spheric prof­its from a 2.3pc stake in Face­book bought in 2009, and is now wind­ing down. AVI­A­TION Michael O’Leary (55), the outspoken boss of no-frills air­line Ryanair, may be the king­pin of Euro­pean air travel, but the avi­a­tion in­dus­try has been un­der a dark cloud cast by the UK’s de­ci­sion to leave the EU. How­ever, the air­line is guid­ing a net profit of be­tween €1.3bn and €1.35bn for the fi­nan­cial year end­ing in March.

At one stage, the chief ex­ec­u­tive owned al­most 25pc of the air­line but sold much of the stock over the last 20 years. His stake is now worth around €700m.

Be­fore Brexit, Ryanair was on a straight run, ben­e­fit­ing from an over­haul of its cheap ’n’ nasty im­age and be­com­ing more cus­tomer-friendly. Much to the cha­grin of share­hold­ers, how­ever, O’Leary was re­warded for this over­haul in the form of a €3.2m pay and bonus pack­age for the 12 months to the end of March 2016, 33pc more than he net­ted in 2015. The Clon­gowese ducated for­mer ac­coun­tant has a large UK com­mer­cial prop­erty port­fo­lio, in­clud­ing two of­fice blocks in the cen­tre of Lon­don.

At home, he, his wife Anita and their four chil­dren live in an ex­ten­sive, ren­o­vated coun­try pile at Gig­gin­stown in West­meath. They also own a house bought for €9.4m on Raglan Road and a New­mar­ket stud farm. O’Leary has spent heav­ily to be­come the big­gest Na­tional Hunt horse-owner in the coun­try. It’s an ex­pen­sive flut­ter that has paid off. Last Septem­ber, he ended his very suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship with trainer Wil­lie Mullins with­draw­ing his 60 horses from the yard. Re­cently he has been in­volved in a spat with the hand­i­cap­per of the Ain­tree Grand Na­tional which led him to with­draw his big three horses from the fix­ture.

20 THE CLEARY FAM­ILY €850m s €77m

IN­HER­I­TANCE Farmer-turned-prop­erty de­vel­oper Ea­mon Cleary passed away aged just 52 in 2012, leav­ing most of his es­tate to his wife and eight chil­dren. The Meath man built

up an ex­ten­sive port­fo­lio of com­mer­cial, re­tail and res­i­den­tial real es­tate in New Zealand.

Cleary, who left school aged just 11, spent the first half of his ca­reer trad­ing in agri and build­ing sup­plies in the Bor­der re­gion sur­round­ing In­niskeen in Mon­aghan. For most of the 1980s, cat­tle growth pro­mot­ers were le­gal, and the canny trader was re­puted to have been one of the first in Ireland to cash in on that mar­ket.

His mount­ing gains saw him se­cure a farm of 250 acres on the out­skirts of Navan, with most of the cost re­puted to have been cov­ered by the sale of the milk quota and silage. The farm was sub­se­quently sold for de­vel­op­ment.

How­ever, it was his move to New Zealand in the 1990s that proved to be the real break, with Cleary get­ting into dairy farm­ing just as the in­dus­try re­ally started to take off. New Zealand’s Na­tional

Busi­ness Re­view es­ti­mated his for­tune at €1bn be­fore he died. The fam­ily is thought to have do­nated large sums to char­ity.


BEEF The past year has seen the Good­man-owned ABP Food Group ex­tend its share of the Ir­ish beef mar­ket, with a joint-ven­ture passed by Euro­pean Com­pe­ti­tion Au­thor­i­ties in Oc­to­ber al­low­ing it to ac­quire a 50pc stake in Slaney Meats.

While Good­man (78) has beefed up his meat pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tions at home, beef ex­ports have been se­verely hit by ster­ling/ euro fluc­tu­a­tions, which are es­ti­mated to have wiped €570m off the value of Ir­ish food and drink ex­ports to the UK — 50pc of Ir­ish beef con­tin­ues to go to that mar­ket. ABP re­mains the largest beef pro­ces­sor in Europe, with 37 man­u­fac­tur­ing plants in Ireland, the UK, Poland, the Nether­lands, Aus­tria and Spain. It ex­tended its mar­ket share in Poland with the ac­qui­si­tion of a third pro­duc­tion plant. It is un­der­stood the fa­cil­ity will bring ABP’s pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity in Poland up to 250,000 cat­tle an­nu­ally.

ABP was the first Ir­ish com­pany to get beef into the US af­ter that mar­ket re-opened to Ir­ish beef in 2015 — a deal worth in the re­gion of €15m at the time. While Ir­ish beef ex­porters have not made sig­nif­i­cant in­roads into the US mar­ket, it’s un­der­stood that the Good­man op­er­a­tion is look­ing at ex­pand­ing fur­ther into the ‘beef for grind­ing’ mar­ket.

Brexit and ster­ling fluc­tu­a­tions may have neg­a­tively im­pacted his core busi­ness in­ter­ests and the un­cer­tainty around the UK as Ireland’s main beef mar­ket hangs like a cloud over the en­tire agri-food in­dus­try. How­ever, he has other in­ter­ests, in­clud­ing Ir­ish com­mer­cial prop­erty.


PROP­ERTY Fred­die Linnett (68) was once con­sid­ered to be the sec­ond rich­est woman in Bri­tain af­ter Queen El­iz­a­beth. Her un­cles Hughie and Paddy Mur­phy, came to Great Bri­tain from Ar­magh in 1945. They left her a 32pc stake in prop­erty group Charles Street, which is a huge land­lord in the UK. She ini­tially worked for the com­pany as a sec­re­tary and tea lady but soon gained a rep­u­ta­tion for hard work and moved up the ranks.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Hugh and his wife Mary Mur­phy own around 49.2pc of the shares in the Charles Street (Le­ices­ter) hold­ing group with the ex­tended fam­ily hold­ing the re­main­der. The com­pany owns 6m sq ft of prop­erty in the UK, which is let out to state and blue-chip ten­ants, with a rent roll of €50m-plus per year.

24 NED GUIN­NESS €768m s €83m

IN­DUS­TRY Heir to the brew­ing for­tune of the same name, Kil­dare-born Ned Guin­ness, also known as Lord Iveagh, has seen the fam­ily stake in drinks giant Di­a­geo in­crease in value by about €62m in the past year.

Said to own a green vin­tage Rolls Royce from 1928, he is also one of Bri­tain’s big­gest pri­vate landown­ers, as his vast Elve­den es­tate in Suf­folk cov­ers 22,500 acres and grows pota­toes and 10pc of all the onions con­sumed in the UK.

In re­cent years, Guin­ness emerged as a backer of Ir­ish firm Blue­face, which pro­vides in­ter­net-based phone ser­vices to busi­nesses and ex­panded into the US, Spain, Ger­many and France last year.

There is also prop­erty in Bri­tain and Canada — its Bri­tish Pa­cific Prop­er­ties owns over 2,000 acres and specialises in high-end hous­ing in and around Van­cou­ver, which is likely to have in­creased in value, as will have any other fam­ily wealth and as­sets.

25 MIKE LYNCH €625m s €110m

TECH­NOL­OGY Lynch (51) is one of the smartest in­vestors in the fast-grow­ing cyber se­cu­rity and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence sec­tors and was once de­scribed as ‘Europe’s Bill Gates’. The largest chunk of his wealth is de­rived from the sale of soft­ware firm which he founded in 1996, Au­ton­omy.

Af­ter its sale to HP for $10bn in 2011, HP sub­se­quently wrote down the value of the firm by $8.8bn, and em­barked on a vi­cious row, claim­ing it had over­paid by $5bn as a re­sult of mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of its fi­nan­cial health. A court bat­tle is now set to take place in Lon­don next year, but in the mean­time, last Novem­ber, Au­ton­omy CFO Sushovan Hus­sain was charged with ac­count­ing fraud, which the US calls “wire fraud”. Lynch has counter-sued HP for $160m over rep­u­ta­tional dam­age

Lynch has been busy­ing him­self since, found­ing €1bn Lon­don tech in­vest­ment firm In­voke Cap­i­tal, whose con­trol­ling stake in fast-grow­ing cyber se­cu­rity firm Dark­trace, looks like a po­ten­tial uni­corn and was val­ued at €470m.

Other as­sets and in­vest­ments are likely to have in­creased in value too. There is a farm and man­sion in Suf­folk and the car en­thu­si­ast, whose par­ents were from Cork and Tip­per­ary, also owns a 1965 As­ton Martin DB5, like the one that was in James Bond film Goldfin­ger, which is prob­a­bly worth about €1m.

26 BERT ALLEN & FAM­ILY €605m s €130m

BEEF Bert Allen and his fam­ily had two sig­nif­i­cant pay-days in the past year from the sale of Slaney Foods to Larry Good­man’s ABP Foods and a group of wind farms that Ga­elec­tric owned.

The Al­lens’ stake in Slaney was 50pc, but the sale price was undis­closed. Its turnover looks to have been per­haps €250m. The ac­counts are un­lim­ited but the av­er­age in­dus­try profit seems to be around 5pc, so the Al­lens may have banked €50m.

The firm had about 6pc of the Ir­ish mar­ket, mainly in beef and lamb and big con­tracts with the likes of Lidl and McDon­alds which made it a prize for ABP.

Ga­elec­tric re­cently sold its as­sets for about €350m, mean­ing the fam­ily could have banked €63m for their share of that, and while debt may have changed that num­ber con­sid­er­ably, the value of the re­main­der of the com­pany is likely to have in­creased.

The fam­ily also has other in­ter­ests. They made an ex­pertly timed sale of the Bew­leys Ho­tel Group for €580m in 2008, just be­fore the eco­nomic crash.

There are also prop­er­ties in

Düs­sel­dorf and Marl in Ger­many, while Allen (78) col­lects Eileen Gray fur­ni­ture and has re­stored her Brownswood fam­ily home near En­nis­cor­thy in Co Wex­ford. One of the de­signer’s chairs was worth €22m. Mean­while, Bert’s son Ber­tram is a star showjumper who has com­peted for Ireland in the Eques­trian World Cup and took more than 20 first places dur­ing a crack­ing year in 2015.

27 MARK GETTY €495m t €100m

ME­DIA Ir­ish pass­port-holder Getty is an heir to the renowned Getty oil for­tune, through which his grand­fa­ther John Paul was one of the world’s wealth­i­est men.

The prover­bial ap­ple didn’t fall far from the tree and Mark built up the Getty Im­ages photo li­brary into a global giant, be­fore sell­ing off large shares to pri­vate equity firms in two stages for a com­bined sum of just un­der €4bn.

He owns a 2,500-acre es­tate in Buck­ing­hamshire, com­plete with Oval cricket ground replica, an eclec­tic art col­lec­tion, rang­ing from old masters to Banksy, and a yacht called Tabitha. A col­lec­tion of old books, in­clud­ing rare Shake­speare and Chaucer fo­lios, is also said to be very valu­able.

Though more than €850m in div­i­dends has been paid out, Getty Im­ages has come un­der pres­sure from ri­vals, the in­creas­ing avail­abil­ity of free high qual­ity pho­tos on the in­ter­net and the gen­eral de­cline in tra­di­tional me­dia — which has less money to spend on stock pho­tog­ra­phy, in re­cent years.

Getty’s high debt lev­els af­fected its abil­ity to rein­vest to boost its growth in re­cent years, and last year Chi­nese photo li­brary giant Vis­ual China was mulling tak­ing an un­spec­i­fied stake in the firm, hav­ing pre­vi­ously bought a ri­val, Corbis, which had been owned by Bill Gates.

28 THE FLATLEY FAM­ILY €493m t €28m

IN­HER­I­TANCE Kil­timagh, Co Mayo na­tive Thomas Flatley emi­grated to the US in 1950 with just over $30 to his name. Over the fol­low­ing 40 years or so, he es­tab­lished a $1.3bn prop­erty em­pire, ini­tially fo­cused on south Boston and the sur­round­ing area, build­ing of­fices, apart­ments, ho­tels, shop­ping cen­tres, in­dus­trial parks and health cen­tres.

At the height of its suc­cess, the com­pany em­ployed 5,800 peo­ple and owned prop­erty in 56 cities across seven states, and he also owned a New Hamp­shire TV sta­tion, ac­cord­ing to one re­port.

The staunchly Catholic busi­ness­man died in 2008, and his fam­ily are giv­ing away much of the for­tune he built to good causes. At the end of 2015, it had €493m of as­sets, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial fil­ing.

29 PAT McDON­AGH €479m s €64m

TECH­NOL­OGY Low-pro­file e-learn­ing ty­coon Pat McDon­agh (65) was pre­vi­ously a school­teacher and en­cy­clopae­dia sales­man, but made hun­dreds of mil­lions from suc­cess with CBT Sys­tems and Skill­soft in the 1990s, and later with Riverdeep. At one stage dur­ing the dot­com boom, his 53pc stake in the lat­ter was worth a whop­ping €800m. He sold more than €260m worth of shares.

The Bal­doyle-based busi­ness­man took a huge punt on de­vel­op­ment land in re­cent years, and emerged as a backer of New Gen­er­a­tion Homes founder and Ark­low man Greg Kavanagh’s well-timed strat­egy of buy­ing land at or around the bot­tom of the mar­ket and then sell­ing it on or de­vel­op­ing it for mas­sive prof­its.

It’s thought that the gam­ble in­volved buy­ing up­wards of €100m worth of sites. This is likely to have paid off hand­somely for them both — Kavanagh sold his stake in var­i­ous res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial prop­erty as­sets he’d bought with back­ing from M&G In­vest­ments last Oc­to­ber. McDon­agh was also a share­holder in Ol­hausen, a sausage busi­ness, as well as digisoft.tv, a tech firm.

30 STEPHEN VER­NON €457m s €107m

PROP­ERTY Prop­erty mag­nate Stephen Ver­non (66, in­set) will have ben­e­fited hand­somely from the sale of Blan­chard­stown Shop­ping Cen­tre, which he con­trolled, to in­vest­ment be­he­moth Black­stone for €950m last June and of two prime Lon­don prop­er­ties for €246m to an Asian in­vestor in Jan­uary. He had de­vel­oped Blan­chard­stown and a num­ber of other com­mer­cial prop­er­ties be­fore the boom, but then took Green Prop­erty, which he founded, pri­vate in a €1bn deal, sell­ing off a bun­dle of prop­er­ties to clear debt and leave him with Blan­chard­stown.

He was one of only a hand­ful of prop­erty play­ers who avoided the car­nage of the 2008 crash, com­ing through it with cash to spend. He also made money when Green REIT was floated off — it had built up €950m worth of prop­er­ties and a €55m rent roll — and his 34pc of it alone is worth €340m.

The stake in Green Prop­erty Hold­ings, which is a sep­a­rate en­tity, and any re­lated debt will have dic­tated what he banked from his Blan­chard­stown pay-day, while he also pock­eted a €7m per­for­mance fee last sum­mer.

31 RAY & DES O’ROURKE €455m t €275m

CON­STRUC­TION Low-key Leitrim brothers Ray and Des O’Rourke jointly own UK­head­quar­tered global con­struc­tion giant Laing O’Rourke. In a let­ter to the com­pany last De­cem­ber, qual­i­fied pi­lot Ray, who now lives in Jer­sey, out­lined how it had made a €290m loss last year — its first in 15 years — with €3bn of rev­enue due to prob­lems with a big hospi­tal con­tract in Canada and other projects in the UK, but em­pha­sised plans to achieve turnover of about €4.5bn by the end of 2019. This should be helped by a re­ported order book of €11.5bn.

His son Cathal and Des’s son Stephen now work in the busi­ness, which has worked on Dubai’s big­gest sky­scrapers, Lon­don’s Olympic venues and Heathrow’s Ter­mi­nal 5. Ray stepped down as CEO four years ago, but re­turned once again at the end of 2015. He had built up the com­pany from hum­ble roots in his util­ity room with the help of some stel­lar phases of growth and a merger with builder Laing.

32 NIALL WALL €450m s €241m

IN­DUS­TRY Niall Wall left tin and bot­tling giant Ardagh last April but re­tains an 8.8pc stake in the busi­ness. The com­pany listed part of the busi­ness last month, valu­ing it at €5bn and Wall’s stake at €440m, sig­nif­i­cantly higher than pre­vi­ous es­ti­mates. He is a brother-in-law of Ardagh chair­man Paul Coul­son. Wall sold his Ranelagh house to Green­core boss Pa­trick Coveney for €2.75m in 2014.

33 BERNARD MUR­PHY AND FAM­ILY €443m s €148m

CON­STRUC­TION The late John Mur­phy founded the iconic Ir­ish build­ing firm whose dark green vans be­came a fre­quent sight on Bri­tish roads. His Kil­dare-based son, Bernard Mur­phy (72), and his ex­tended fam­ily now own J Mur­phy & Sons.

The three main com­pa­nies, the prin­ci­pal one of which is work­ing on some of the UK’s big­gest con­struc­tion projects, booked €970m of sales in their last ac­counts, throw­ing off €40m in prof­its. The as­sets are worth at least €403m. Last year the main firm’s CEO said it plans to grow turnover from €770m to €2.4bn by 2025.

34 PADDY McNALLY €436m s €21m

MO­TOR RAC­ING For­mer mo­tor rac­ing jour­nal­ist McNally (85, in­set), a Done­gal na­tive and long-time as­so­ciate of for­mer F1 supremo Bernie Ec­cle­stone, spends his time at homes in Switzer­land and the Cote d’Azur — where he keeps a Sun­seeker yacht — af­ter sell­ing All­sports Man­age­ment, his For­mula One events, cor­po­rate en­ter­tain­ment and track­side ad­ver­tis­ing busi­ness, to pri­vate equity giant CVC for €275m in 2006. McNally, who pre­vi­ously dated Sarah Fer­gu­son (the exwife of Bri­tain’s Prince An­drew), is be­lieved to own a chalet in the exclusive Swiss ski re­sort of

39 ROMA DOWNEY €411m s €21m

ME­DIA Tele­vi­sion has helped to pave a road to riches for Roma Downey (56), a na­tive of Derry’s Bog­side who is also an Emmy-nom­i­nated actress and starred in soppy US soap Touched by an An­gel. Mar­riage helped too, given that her hus­band, Mark Bur­nett, a for­mer Bri­tish sol­dier, de­vel­oped rat­ings win­ners The Ap­pren­tice (maybe he’s partly to blame for Trump), Sur­vivor, Shark Tank and The Voice.

Hearst and MGM bought his com­pany in sev­eral chunks in 2012, 2014 and 2015, ini­tially valu­ing the firm at €480m — though the value in­creased dur­ing that time — and the cou­ple may have banked €120m from the 2015 trans­ac­tion alone, with fees and div­i­dends of al­most €200m adding to that bank bal­ance over the years. Var­i­ous as­sets and in­vest­ments in­creas­ing in value over the past year are likely to have fur­ther added to that.

Downey and Bur­nett live in a huge 7,300sqft beach­side house in Mal­ibu, where the neigh­bours in­clude Hol­ly­wood ac­tors. Strongly re­li­gious, they saw the po­ten­tial of a TV adap­ta­tion of The Bi­ble, which won nu­mer­ous awards and reached 100m view­ers. Ver­bier which is said to com­mand rents of €26,000 a week. An­other of his homes was once owned by James Bond creator Ian Flem­ing, a stately pile on an es­tate in Wilt­shire in south­ern Eng­land. A Rich List in a Swiss news­pa­per once es­ti­mated McNally’s wealth at closer to €600m.

35 SEA­MUS MUL­LI­GAN €433m s €73m

PHAR­MA­CEU­TI­CALS Fol­low­ing a drop in his es­ti­mated net worth last year, pharma en­trepreneur Sea­mus Mul­li­gan (56) has seen his for­tunes im­prove again in the past year, with a num­ber of busi­ness in­ter­ests do­ing well for him. One of these, Adapt Pharma, which he backed with about €60m of his own money, has won FDA ap­proval for its nasal spray for heroin users and is grow­ing steadily, carv­ing out a size­able piece of a $100m mar­ket in the US. Mean­while, Jazz Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals — the re­sult of a merger of Jazz with Azur, a pharma ven­ture he had set up in 2011 — has seen its share price rise by about 10pc in the past year.

Roscommon-based Mul­li­gan pre­vi­ously played a key role in turn­ing around Ireland’s then big­gest drugs firm Elan, which was strug­gling with too much debt. Wisely cash­ing in a €210m chunk of his shares, Mul­li­gan still re­tains a stake now worth about €138m. Dur­ing the boom, he bought for­mer Taoiseach Al­bert Reynolds’ house on leafy Ailes­bury Road in Dublin for €14m, while also in­vest­ing in other prop­er­ties and the Derek Quin­lan syn­di­cate that bought prop­er­ties such as the Four Sea­sons ho­tel in Prague and oth­ers in Lon­don’s West End.

36 THE HAUGHEY FAM­ILY €428m s €14m

PHAR­MA­CEU­TI­CALS Louth-born an­i­mal health en­trepreneur Ed­die Haughey, who was also known by his for­mer ti­tle Lord Bal­lyed­mond, died in a he­li­copter crash in 2014.

His Nor­brook Lab­o­ra­to­ries busi­ness is now owned by his wife Mary and the fam­ily, to whom €104m of as­sets, in­clud­ing prop­er­ties and farm­land, were trans­ferred at the end of 2015.

The fam­ily also owns cas­tles in Northern Ireland and Cum­bria in the north of Eng­land, as well as an es­tate in Nor­folk. A house in one of Lon­don’s most ex­pen­sive post­codes, Bel­grave Square, which was bought in 2006 for €18m, is prob­a­bly worth three times that now. A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing to make rel­a­tively mi­nor im­prove­ments that was made last year by Lady Bal­lyed­mond shows a house de­scribed as a fam­ily home and rich in ar­chi­tec­tural de­tail, com­plete with a huge din­ing room.

37 DAVID POWER €415m t €140m

GAM­BLING Rath­gar-based David Power (70) owns 3.57m shares in Paddy Power Bet­fair — whose share price has fallen by al­most a quar­ter since early 2016, mean­ing they’re now worth about €360m. Share sales and div­i­dends, as well as prop­erty in the UK, ac­counts for the rest of his wealth.

38 BERNIE & JOHN GAL­LAGHER €412m s €21m

HOS­PI­TAL­ITY Dar­lings of the ho­tel busi­ness, Bernie — one of the heirs to the PV Doyle ho­tel em­pire — and John, both 57, also know a thing or two about tim­ing. They sold off most of the Doyle ho­tel em­pire’s as­sets to de­vel­op­ers for more than €1.1bn as prices hit their peak dur­ing the most bonkers phase of the boom.

Do­ing so en­abled them to clear their debts and walk away with a port­fo­lio of classy ho­tels in­clud­ing the West­bury and River Lee, two in Lon­don and one in Wash­ing­ton. They own 25pc of the busi­ness.

They have also got back into the prop­erty game, buy­ing up the Bord Gáis En­ergy The­atre for €28m as well as of­fice blocks and shops here and in Poland. Among other things, dur­ing his spare time John is the lead singer of Dakota 66, an in­die rock band which has played at Elec­tric Pic­nic a few times.

40 ANDY RUHAN €400m s €100m

TECH­NOL­OGY Low-key and me­dia-shy Andy Ruhan (53), who grew up in Athenry, Co Gal­way, has amassed a for­tune thanks to suc­cess in a data cen­tre busi­ness, ho­tel and prop­er­ties and a ca­ble firm.

Sen­trum, a data cen­tre ven­ture, sold a three-prop­erty port­fo­lio to Dig­i­tal Realty for €850m in 2012. Then in a highly-lever­aged deal, Ruhan made money from flip­ping the This­tle chain of 32 ho­tels and con­verted many of them into high-end apart­ments. It has emerged that a deal in­volv­ing two of the Lon­don ho­tels alone, which in­volved the Candy Brothers, saw the site flipped within just 18 months to a Mid­dle East buyer for a cool £250m profit in 2008.

It has also emerged that he and his brother Gabriel made money from the sale of Global Ma­rine Sys­tems, an un­der­sea ca­ble firm, for €200m in 2014. When IT ser­vices firm Nav­is­ite was sold to Time Warner, it earned them about €127m, so we’ve upped his net worth con­sid­er­ably from last year’s fig­ure.

Among the other as­sets owned by Andy are a ho­tel in Wim­ble­don, a multi-mil­lion pound man­sion in Buck­ing­hamshire and an African game re­serve. He is also an avid mo­tor rac­ing fan and sat on the board of the Lo­tus F1 team be­fore Re­nault took it over at the end of 2015. A clas­sic car col­lec­tion in­cludes a rare 1962 E-type Jaguar.

41 TOM ROCHE AND FAM­ILY €384m s €64m

IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE The Roche fam­ily dy­nasty ini­tially made their money from ce­ment, through what be­came CRH in the 1970s. Toll roads and en­ergy — mainly wind farms — later saw them pros­per again, with Tom be­ing the big­gest share­holder in NTR. His wife Anne is one of the Doyle ho­tel fam­ily and owns 25pc of the Doyle Col­lec­tion busi­ness. They have shared in more than €800m of div­i­dends over the past decade. Son John runs the slick Cocu Kitchen restau­rants on Dublin’s Hatch Street and Bag­got Street. Last May it emerged that he and his par­ents bought a site at Percy Place in Balls­bridge where they plan to de­velop a high-end apart­ment block com­plete with roof gar­den.

43 TIM MARTIN €376m

s €60m PUBS Listed pub chain Wether­spoons has rowed back on am­bi­tious ex­pan­sion plans for Ireland hav­ing carved up most of Bri­tain’s high streets with its fairly priced cof­fee, food and drinks of­fer­ing. Belfast na­tive Tim Martin (61, in­set) owns 30pc of the firm, so he’s sit­ting on a €60m pa­per profit af­ter a hike in the share price of about a third in the past year. There was a bit of a blip last June in the wake of the Brexit vote — he was an outspoken sup­porter of the ‘leave’ side. In the run-up to the Brexit vote, he vis­ited up to 100 of his pubs on a whis­tle-stop tour.

44 MICHAEL SMUR­FIT €376m s €76m

IN­DUS­TRY One of the coun­try’s best-known and most suc­cess­ful busi­ness­men, Michael Smur­fit turned a small cardboard box firm into the global giant that be­came Smur­fit Kappa.

In 2002, he earned €230m for his 7.5pc stake when US firm Madi­son Dear­born ac­quired it for €3.8bn. He later spent €55m to buy 4.29pc of the pri­vate com­pany back be­fore it re­turned to the stock mar­ket in 2007, and he later made money again sell­ing that stake.

In the past year, he banked an es­ti­mated €62m from his stake in his brother Der­mot’s firm Pow­er­flute, which was bought by a fa­mil­iar name, Madi­son Dear­born. He also in­vests in start-ups, in­clud­ing Of­faly­based farm tech start-up MooCall.

Last Au­gust, for his 80th birth­day, he brought 100 close friends, fam­ily and VIPs on a su­per-yacht voy­age last­ing a week from Venice to Corfu via Dubrovnik, Hvar and Mon­tene­gro.

Among his most prized pos­ses­sions is a €50m yacht called the Lady Ann Magee ,as well as an art col­lec­tion worth a sim­i­lar amount, and sev­eral prop­er­ties.

The Monaco-based golf­ing fan and bon viveur paid €115m to buy The K Club with de­vel­oper Gerry Gan­non dur­ing the boom, but later had to wrest con­trol of it from Nama by buy­ing Gan­non’s stake. A stun­ning home in Mar­bella owned by Smur­fit — Casa Lo­ri­ana — has gone on the mar­ket for €80m and comes with a pri­vate beach and a moor­ing for a yacht.

45 CHARLES GAL­LAGHER €343m s €42m

CON­STRUC­TION One-time Tory party can­di­date

42 MICHAEL FLATLEY €376m s €21m

EN­TER­TAIN­MENT Chicago-born Flatley, 58, whose par­ents hailed from Car­low and Sligo, is try­ing to sell his Castle­hyde es­tate in Cork, which he lov­ingly re­stored while adding mod cons that only a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire could need such as an earth­quake-proof garage for his car col­lec­tion and a multi-storey li­brary for his rare book col­lec­tion. He spent up to €50m on the work over a decade, ac­cord­ing to re­ports, yet at one stage had re­duced the sale price from €30m to €20m. Flatley made his name in River­dance but then struck out on his own to cre­ate Lord of the Dance, which has toured the globe nu­mer­ous times.

It has been a sub­stan­tial op­er­a­tion, em­ploy­ing 300 and mak­ing prof­its of up to 40pc on ticket sales, hav­ing played to tens of mil­lions. At one stage, there was talk of him float­ing his Ve­gas-based Uni­corn En­ter­tain­ment to cash in on its suc­cess. He did his fi­nal tour last year but con­tin­ues as creator, pro­ducer and chore­og­ra­pher of Lord of the Dance: Dan­ger­ous Games.

Nowa­days Flatley is cre­at­ing one-off paint­ings that sell for up to €340,000, many of which in­volve him essen­tially danc­ing with paint on his feet, or “por­tray­ing the fluid move­ment of dance on can­vas”.

From a base in Lon­don, he also owns valu­able prop­er­ties in the Caribbean, New York, Bev­erly Hills and Ville­franche. It’s be­lieved he has shares in Berk­shire Hath­away, which have risen by 20pc in the past year. The prop­er­ties and other as­sets will have in­creased in value in the past year too. Charles Gal­lagher (57) and his ex­tended fam­ily now own 81pc of the shares in housebuilder Abbey. The share price has re­mained largely un­changed in the past year, but the ad­di­tional 8.2pc they bought is worth about €12.5m, while prof­its from Abbey and Matthew Homes, a UK builder they also own, add a fur­ther €30m to their wealth.

46 O’FLA­HERTY HOLD­INGS €325m s €37m

MO­TOR­ING O’Fla­herty Hold­ings is one of the coun­try’s largest fam­ily busi­nesses and boom­ing car sales has seen them gen­er­ate mas­sive prof­its in re­cent years. The com­pany, which im­ports the Mercedes brand, dates back to 1949, when the late Stephen O’Fla­herty inked a deal to make Volk­swa­gen Bee­tles in Ireland — the first to be put to­gether out­side Ger­many.

The group, which runs Volk­swa­gen, Mazda and Audi deal­er­ships through MSL, had a dif­fi­cult re­ces­sion but is now reap­ing the re­wards of a re­vi­talised car in­dus­try. Last year, sales were up by €110m, to €460m, as the coun­try’s car sales jumped 17.5pc. Around €170m has been paid out in div­i­dends since 2009.

Shares are held by Kil­dare­based Nigel (79), his daugh­ters Lauren and Nicola as well as by Guernsey-based Michael (85) and Stephen O’Fla­herty (55) who lives in a Ge­or­gian house set in eight acres in Howth.

FRANK DUNNE €320m s €15m

RE­TAIL Me­dia-shy Frank Dunne (73) owns about a third of Dunnes Stores, and is its largest share­holder. He lives on a stud farm in Co Kil­dare and has seen the su­per­mar­ket and cloth­ing re­tailer take the top spot with 22.7pc of the €9bn gro­cery mar­ket in the 12 weeks to the end of Jan­uary.

48 JOHN KING €317m s €14m

PHAR­MA­CEU­TI­CALS John King (67) was a key player in the de­vel­op­ment of Galen, Northern Ireland’s big­gest drugs com­pany, be­fore it was bought by Warner Chilcott in 2004. The deal saw King earn €150m for his 7.7pc stake in the busi­ness, while sub­se­quent share sales were worth €173m. The cham­ber mu­sic en­thu­si­ast lives in a Ge­or­gian man­sion in Co Kil­dare.


TRANS­PORT Fa­ther and son Michael and Brian En­right turned Walsh Western, a small west of Ireland truck­ing firm, into Syn­creon, a global firm de­scrib­ing it­self as a spe­cialised con­tract lo­gis­tics firm whose cus­tomers in­clude the big­gest com­pa­nies in the world (if you’ve ever or­dered some­thing from the Ap­ple store on­line, it might say Syn­creon some­where on the pack­age). Pri­vate equity firms Cen­ter­bridge and GenX360 now own the ma­jor­ity of the com­pany, and re­fi­nanc­ing deals led to more than €395m in div­i­dends be­ing paid out in re­cent years.

An €850m deal to sell the com­pany didn’t work out in 2013 and more re­cently Moody’s has been rais­ing an eye­brow at the amount of debt the firm is car­ry­ing — over €650m last year.

Brian is now based in Michi­gan in the US, while Michael, who is on the board of up-and-com­ing re­new­able en­ergy firm AirSyn­ergy, lives in Cork.

50 LIAM CASEY €300m t €50m

HARD­WARE Cork­man and globe-trot­ting for­mer fash­ion sales­man Liam Casey (51, pic­tured be­low), also known as ‘Mr China’, has built up a huge busi­ness, PCH, in con­sumer elec­tron­ics and hard­ware de­sign, man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion.

If a firm wants a new elec­tronic gad­get, his com­pany will de­sign it, make it and ship it to the cus­tomer, tak­ing a cut of the earn­ings in re­turn.

The firm was backed by blue chip ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vestors Cross Creek and Triangle Peak Cap­i­tal, who put in about $50m, and Casey is be­lieved to own a third of the busi­ness, which is thought to have turned over $1bn in 2015, though its ac­counts are un­lim­ited.

But the past year has been a tough one for the com­pany, with the loss of a key con­tract with Ap­ple — on which it has never com­mented — re­sult­ing in an an­nounce­ment last June that it was lay­ing off 1,500 work­ers mainly in China and clos­ing some of its fac­to­ries there.

In a bid to slim down the busi­ness fur­ther, in Fe­bru­ary PCH sold off TNS Con­nect, a dis­trib­u­tor of emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies and ac­ces­sories to re­tail­ers. Though Casey has backed start-ups such as the Col­li­son brothers’ Stripe and Pat Phe­lan’s Trustev, and will have made money from them, his stake in PCH may now be worth less; a cus­tomer as sig­nif­i­cant as Ap­ple may be ir­re­place­able.


THE TOWN SHE LOVES SO WELL: Derry-born actress Roma Downey and her hus­band Mark Bur­nett at­tend the Citi Cel­e­brates Bill­board Power 100 in Los An­ge­les

RACE TO THE TOP: Michael and Anita O’Leary en­joy­ing a fes­tive day out at the races with chil­dren Tiana (8) and Zach (6) last Christ­mas

ROCK ’N’ ROLLING IN IT: U2’s The Edge and Bono

VICE SQUAD: CEO of Vice Me­dia Shane Smith with his wife Tamyka

STRIPE PHE­NOM­E­NON: John and Pa­trick Col­li­son


STYLISH: Alexan­dra Schmidt, Galen We­ston Jnr, Hi­lary We­ston and Galen We­ston

CELL DIVI­SION: De­nis O’Brien in down­town Port au Prince, Haiti

LORD IN HIS MANOR: Michael Flatley takes af­ter­noon tea at The Shel­bourne Ho­tel in Dublin

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