10 richest people in the UK drinks trade

The drinks trade may sometimes seem like a better place to spend money than to make it, but as The Sunday Times Rich List 2015 shows, brewing, distilling and winemaking, not to mention founding a successful merchant to sell these products, has served some people extremely well.

imagesWhile we outline the 10 biggest fortunes derived entirely, or at least in part, from the drinks trade over the following pages, there remain a number of other multimillionaires who didn’t quite make the cut.

These include the new faces of Malcolm and Duncan MacKinnon, who sold their Drambuie brand to William Grant & Sons last year for an undisclosed sum – although commentators at the time suggested that they were seeking around £100m for their business, which is the same as the valuation of their current wealth by The Sunday Times.

Other major players sitting outside the £120m it takes to secure a place in the top 10 these days are Judy Halewood, who chairs Halewood International, a Liverpool-based drinks distributor and producer of brands such as Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer and Lambrini. The business has built her a £110m fortune.

Then there’s John Rudd of wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd, which has helped him to build up a fortune of £110m, and Dutchman Eric Heerema, who owns English sparkling wine producer Nyetimber. Together with Heerema’s other interests and inheritance, this wine business has contributed to total assets worth £100m.

As if those success stories weren’t impressive enough, read on to find out the 10 biggest fortunes in the drinks industry today.

2 Responses to “10 richest people in the UK drinks trade”

  1. Robert Dale says:

    I remember Tony Laithwaite well from those far-off days of Bordeaux Direct. Smashing, unassuming chap then ………. and I’m sure that he still is ! What an amazing success. I’m still going in the business, but not exactly at the same level. Never mind …………. I still enjoy driving my white van and heaving cases on a daily basis !

  2. Glugger says:

    1. Dutch – 2. Singaporean – 4. Irish – 5. Kiwi (no longer in trade) – 6. Swiss. ???

    Come on db, you can do better than this. 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 & 10 are in the UK drinks trade (although 4 is Irish!). 1, 2, 5 & 6 are either not in the UK drinks trade or not in the drinks trade at all any more!

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