Top 10 richest Brits in drinks 2018
This weekend The Sunday Times Rich List revealed the wealthiest people currently based in the UK.
The number one spot was reserved for Jim Ratcliffe, the head of chemical giant Ineos, and officially the UK’s richest man with a fortune of £21.05 billion. Ineos has an annual turnover of about £45bn and employs more than 18,500 people at 181 sites across 22 countries.
Close behind was the Hinduja brothers, Sri and Gopi, who came second on the 2018 list with £20.64billion. Their fortune increased by £4.44billion in the last year, while British-American industrialist-turned-media mogul Sir Len Blavatnik, who owns the Warner Music Group, came in third place with £15.26billion. He famously got his name on a building at Tate Modern thanks to a £50m donation.
Elsewhere, retail tycoon Sir Philip Green’s estimated wealth fell by £787million to £2billion – partly because of his decision to contribute £363m to the BHS pension deficit, while Jamie Oliver fell off the list entirely.
Robert Watts, who compiled the list, said of this year’s rankings: “Britain is changing. Gone are the days when old money and a small band of industries dominated the Sunday Times Rich List. Aristocrats and inherited wealth has been elbowed out of the list and replaced by an army of self-made entrepreneurs.”
Among them are plenty of figures from the world of drinks, who are among the richest in the country.
Click through to see who made this year’s top 10…
10. David McMullen and family
Position 2018: 725
Position 2017: 723
The McMullen family is responsible for independent Hertfordshire Brewers McMullen, founded in 1827. The business is now run by the sixth generation, and makes a range of ales, including Hopping Mad and Stronghart, and operates more than 130 pubs across the home counties.
According to the Sunday Times, profits fell below £13m on £79.2m sales in 2016 but net assets grew by £8m to £139.3m, with other assets and dividends raising the family’s fortune to £161m.
9. Tony and Barbara Laithwaite
Position 2018: 722
Position 2017: 694
Laithwaites Wine was founded in 1969, when Tony Laithwaite bought a Ford van and started bringing back wine from Bordeaux to sell in the UK. This turned into Bordeaux Direct, a company whose focus gradually expanded across France and later to Rioja, Bulgaria and Australia.
Nearly half a century on he remains owner of this business, now called Laithwaites Wine, which retains the original direct sourcing ethos from the early days. The company is now part of Direct Wines, a mail order group wholly owned by the Laithwaite family with franchise or distribution agreements in continental Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India.
Read our 2015 interview with Tony Laithwaite here.
8. Aaron and Tania Hillman and family
Position 2018: 672
Position 2017: 640
The Hillmans, led by brother and sister Aaron, 52, and Tania, 54, are the family behind Scotch whisky company Angus Dundee – specialists in bulk whisky production and own-brand Scotches.
The London-based operation bought the mothballed Tomintoul distillery on Speyside in 2000 and then Glencadam malt distillery in Brechin, Angus three years later.
7. John Apthorp and family
Position 2018: 452
Position 2017: 473
Sources: Wine, Food
Mr Apthorp, 82, was a founding member and managing director of the family business of frozen food stores Bejam, eventually selling the chain to Iceland in 1989 for £70m. He also co-founded Wizzard Wines (now Majestic Wines), which his family has a £32.5 million stake in. The company announced a profit warning in September 2016 which led to a 25% decline in value of its shares, following its purchase of Naked Wines.
Already an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Apthorp was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for charitable services.
6. Vivian Imerman
Position 2018: 329
Position 2017: 307
Sources: Food, Spirits
South Africa-born Imerman is the former owner of Whyte & Mackay, the Scottish spirits business famous for the Scotch brand of the same name.
Along with his former brother-in-law Robert Tchenguiz, he sold the business to Diageo subsidiary United Spirits in 2007 for £595 million, for which he received £396 million thanks to his 60% stake in the company.
He was also responsible for the turnaround of tinned fruit giant Del Monte, serving as chief executive from 1989 to 2001, and making £380m from his stake in the company. Since then he has further feathered his fortune through his investment group Vasari and property sales.
5. The Earl of Iveagh and the Guinness family
Position 2018: 152
Position 2017: 149
Sources: Property, Brewing
Ned Guinness, the Earl of Ivegh, is a direct descendant of Arthur Guinness, the man who invented the world-famous black stout back in 1759. The Earl moved to Britain in 1991, inheriting his title and about £62m in Guinness shares a year later.
He also owns a 22,000 acre Elveden estate in Suffolk, where he is said to grow 10% of all the onions eaten in the UK.
4. Glenn Gordon and family
Position 2018: 55
Position 2017: 50
Worth: £2.57 billion
William Grant & Sons was founded by the Grant Gordon family in 1887 and has grown to become one of the leading players in the international spirits trade.
The business produces some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Grant’s. In addition, it also produces Irish whiskey Tullamore D.E.W and recently acquired the Drambuie liqueur brand.
3. Alejandro Santo Domingo and Lady Charlotte Wellesley
Position 2018: 40
Position 2017: 29
Worth: £3.26 billion
Sources: New Inheritance, Brewing, Investment
The Colombian-American billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo, 40, married British blue-blood Lady Charlotte Wellesley, 26, last May.
Santo Domingo is the Harvard-educated scion of the Bavaria brewery in Colombia, sold by his father Julio Mario (who died in 2011) in 2005 for a 15% stake in SABMiller. The stake is the largest in a diverse portfolio of companies that make up the privately held Santo Domingo Group.
2. Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family
Position 2018: 22
Position 2017: 20
Worth: £5.56 billion
Sources: Oil, Gas, Wine
The majority of London-based Perrodo families fortunes comes from their interests in the oil and gas industry, with operations in 13 countries producing 450,000 barrels of oil a day.
Since 2006, the family’s business has been managed by Carrie Perrodo, 65, and her eldest son François, 40, after her husband died in an alpine hiking accident.
The family also has an interest in the wine business, with Perrodo’s daughter, Nathalie Perrodo-Samani, in charge of Château Labégorce in Margaux.
1. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho £11,100m £1,800m Inheritance, Brewing, Banking
Position 2018: 6
Position 2017: 10
Worth: £11.1 billion
Sources: Inheritance, Brewing, Banking
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, 62, owns a controlling interest in the world’s second largest brewer, Heineken.
She inherited her 25% stake from her late father Freddy Heineken, grandson of the Dutch brewery’s founder, in 2002.
The de Carvalho family stake in Heineken is now valued at just over £11bn, having added a staggering £1.8 billion to their fortune in the past year alone.
Of the 141 women on this year’s rich list, with Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, of the brewing dynasty, is the biggest fortune of them all.