Lancashire Life Glitz List 2010

PUBLISHED: 19:32 11 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:41 20 February 2013

Number 2: John Hargreaves

Number 2: John Hargreaves

Our exclusive survey reveals the most affluent and influential people in Lancashire and the Lake District. Compiled for us by financial expert Philip Beresford.


Ringo Starr

Ex-Beatle drummer Ringo Starr launched his new Y Not album in January 2010, with contributions from Dave Stewart, Joss Stone and Paul McCartney. As one of the two surviving former Beatles, Starr will no doubt be pleased that his pension looked like being secured in September 2009 with launch of the whole Beatles catalogue re-mastered and re-packaged for the first time since 1987 in tandem with the music video game Beatles-Rock Band. But on the basis of past and expected royalties, the value of the back catalogue and dividends, Starr, below, is worth 140m.


Kirit 12/09/1952 & Meena Pathak

The Pathak family sold its Pataks spice operation in 2007 for a reported 200m. It was in 1956 that Kirit Pathaks late father, Laxmishanker, arrived in Britain from his native Kenya. His search for work led the family to work 18-hours a day at the kitchen table reviving their sweet and spice business from Kenya, serving their friends from Africa

The Wigan-based operation has become one of the fastest growing companies in Britain. Laxmishanker Pathak died in 1997, but under Kirit and his wife Meena, right, the company forged ahead. Kirit Pathak remains as chairman of the company. After-tax the family proceeds should be 130m allowing for tax.


Kenneth Townsley

Kenneth Townsley collected the final 47.5m in December 2009 from the sale of his Gold Medal travel operation to Thomas Cook. His total proceeds were around 84m. Townsley started out in travel aged 15 in 1961 as an airline traffic officer apprentice for Silver City Airways at Blackpool airport, a job that involved baggage handling. He used a redundancy payout to set up his first company in a rented Blackpool shop.

Called Trident Travel in Blackpool, it focused on group trips. The business grew rapidly and renamed Gold Medal it arranges flights and tours to 1,500 destinations worldwide, focusing on the United States, the Middle East, the Far East and Australasia. An 18m property portfolio and other assets take Townsley to 115m.


William Ainscough and family

Bill Ainscoughs Langtree Group recently invited tenders for its 40m stadium project with St Helens Rugby League and Tesco, due for completion in early 2011. In 1973 he founded the Wainhomes housebuilding business. After merging in 1989, he floated the enlarged Wigan-based group five years later with a price tag of 106m.

Fed up with stock market indifference to the company, Ainscough, left, took Wainhomes private in 1999. Within two years, he had sold the company, netting 44m for his stake. His family owned most of Langtree Group with nearly 71m of net assets in 2008-09. It now owns and manages 4m sq ft of commercial property accommodating more than 800 tenants.

Ainscough bought the old Wain Homes south western operation and the renamed Wain Group, made a 5.8m profit on 82.4m sales in 2007-08. It has 22m of net assets and should be worth 30m. In all, Ainscough and his family should be worth 110m.


Anwar and Yakub Patel

Lostock-based Anwar Patel, who is a pharmacist by profession, and his brother Yakub, an accountant, set up their first chemists shop in Rochdale in 1980 and subsequently took over Bolton-based Cohens, from where they built a chain of chemists. In October 2005, the brothers sold 111 of their pharmacies to Lloyds for 130m. They kept 30 trading under
the Scholes and Cohen names.

The brothers owned the parent company called Primelight. After-tax, the proceeds should have been at least 80m. But with the shops they retained and another 20m of business wealth we can see in the separate Gorgemead operation (which made 2.2m profit
on 80.6m sales in 2007-08) we reckon the Patels should easily be worth 110m. We knock off the 2m City Academy donation.


John Morphet

One-time Preston-born farm boy John Morphet owns the Pure Leisure Group, which includes nine holiday and caravan parks, two golfing estates and the 750-acre Royal Westmoreland estate in Barbados. Morphet, right with partner, spent his early years on a farm in the Lake District. Breaking his back in an accident on the farm, he spent months recovering and had to give up farm work.

He took charge of a small caravan park on the farm and seeking fresh challenges bought his first caravan park in 1988 for 135,000. He built his company, South Lakeland Caravans into an operation with 20 caravan sites, offering high quality accommodation by lakes, the seaside and in the country.

In June 2006, it was sold by Morphet for around 74m. Morphet kept his original caravan site at Carnforth. His Pure Leisure showed a 5.5m loss on 40.6m sales in 2008-09, while its net assets rose to 80.4m. We value it at 80m in the current climate. Allowing for sale proceeds and the cost of expansion, we value Morphet at 105m.


John Halewood and family

Halewood International, one of the UKs largest independent manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic drinks, has a new fully-automated production line which can fill, label and pack 20,000 bottles an hour. The Liverpool-based operation was founded in 1978 by John Halewood and now exports to more than 40 countries worldwide.

Aside from his role in the drinks trade, Halewood is best known for his horse, Amberleigh House, trained by the legendary Ginger McCain, which won the Grand National.

In the year to June 2009 profits surged from 1.5m to 7m on record sales of 245m. With a solid balance sheet and nearly 46m net assets it is easily worth 60m. Halewood also has a 50% stake in HIFX plc, a Windsor-based mortgage operation worth 30m.

In all with other assets and past salaries, Halewood is now easily worth 100m in the current climate.


Michael Freeman

Ex-oil rig manager Michael Freeman runs and owns Can Holdings, supplying inspection services and specially trained personnel for inspection and maintenance of North Sea oil rigs and the like. A North Sea veteran, Freeman has built a sound business. In 2008 Can Holdings made a record 15.8m profit on 62.6m sales. Freeman, who owns it all, takes little out of the Lancashire-based business. We value him at 98m with other assets.


Ron Wood

Ron Wood, below, is just the sort of person to become a Red Knight and help wrestle Manchester United from the Glazer family. He can afford it. In 1996 he made 90m from the sale of his RonWood greetings card operation, which he had started in 1975 after selling greetings cards on commission while still a teenager.

He fought a long battle between 2004-2006 against the Inland Revenue over tax on the proceeds and won in the end at the Appeal Court which saved him nearly 24m of tax. Wood is now involved in property through Ron Wood Developments, building some large developments in the Manchester area. It had 193,000 net assets in 2008. He is worth 95m.


Zuber Issa and family

It was in 2001 that Darwen-based Zuber Issa, below, started buying run-down petrol stations from oil companies and upgrading them. Now his company Euro Garages owns and runs 76 petrol stations and associated shops in the north west and midlands.

In 2008-09, Euro Garages made a record 5.5m profit on 242.2m sales. In late 2007, there were reports that the company was up for sale for around 100m. In the current climate we value the business and the Issa family at 80m.

Our exclusive survey reveals the most affluent and influential people in Lancashire and the Lake District. They are the men and women who shape the lives of thousands throughout the region forming the ultimate guide to where the power lies, compiled for us by financial expert Philip Beresford.

The economy has gone through some stormy waters in the last year but the fabulously wealthy of Lancashire and the Lake District have come through the recession in pretty good shape - and thats just as well if we want to keep the regions economy buoyant.

Led by the Duke of Westminster, of the Grosvenor Trust, the top 30 richest in our list are now worth a total in excess of 9.2 billion - enough to buy a fleet of 36 new jumbo jets.

Our entrepreneurs are an interesting bunch, ranging from the owners of family businesses to world-wide celebrities. But while we may cast envious eyes over manifestations of their wealth such as the 250m dividend that John Hargreaves and his family have taken recently, we should not forget that they are huge job creators locally. His company, Matalan, now employs 15,000 men and women, which represents a near tripling in the last decade.

With the public sector shedding jobs fast, the continuing financial health of such large private employers is critical if the north west is to have a prosperous future.

Retailing, property and financial services are where the fortunes are made today. Sadly, there are no old-fashioned industrialists left with huge factories churning out goods for the world markets and, apart from the Duke, Lancashires old aristocrats and landowners just do not have the acres or art to make it to our top 30.

And while we can get the old Beatles in, they now represent the old generation of rockers. Sadly, no younger rock or pop stars have yet to make enough to break into our list.


Duke of Westminster

Gerald Grosvenor, the sixth Duke of Westminster, is the regions richest man with a property portfolio which includes large tracts of north Lancashire, particularly the famous Abbeystead estate. The Queen and Prince Philip are known to enjoy staying at this striking house. He also has land in Cheshire, Scotland and some of the most exclusive residential areas of London.

Much of the recent redevelopment of Liverpool, including the new Liverpool One shopping mall, was the work of his property company, the Grosvenor Group, which has also been a driving force behind the faltering Tithebarn redevelopment in the centre of Preston.

Born in Northern Ireland, he lived with his family on an island in the middle of Loch Erne before he went to Harrow School. He left there with just one O-level and despite initially failing the entrance exam for the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he went on to be the first reservist since the 1930s to be assistant Chief of the Defence Staff for Reserves and Cadets. His wife, Natalia Phillips, is a direct descendent of the writer Pushkin.

The strength of the Grosvenor Group was demonstrated six months ago when it offered over the 100m asking price for two acres in Kensington, which had permission for more than 70 luxury apartments. Like most businesses in this field, it was hit hard in 2008 but the company has since bounced back with reserves of almost 1billion to expand into the booming Chinese market.

The Duke is chairman of trust which owns all the shares in Grosvenor. The family is the main beneficiary and it is estimated that the Dukes wealth has increased by something like 250m over the last 12 months.

The Duke is a keen marksman and a passionate farmer. He recently found time to help launch a buy local campaign with milk producers in Lancashire.


John Hargreaves and family

Its one of the ultimate rags-to-riches stories and it started in a tiny terraced house in Lancashire. John Hargreaves was the son of a docker and he grew up in a family where cash was so tight they often struggled to buy shoes.

Rather different from the well-heeled life he leads today, based at his luxurious home in glitzy Monaco. Not that Hargreaves could ever be accused of flaunting the huge wealth created by his Matalan discount clothing and homeware empire. He shies away from the media and is known to have admitted that he has few interests outside work

He left school at 14 and got his first taste for retailing on a market stall. Five years later, he established a fashion store called Jaymax, which would eventually grow into a chain of nine.
It was during a holiday in the US that he had his big idea. Out of town stores were fast expanding - and not just in the food sector. He brought the same concept back to Preston in 1985 establishing his first Matalan store in the city, selling goods at well below high street prices.

Since then, the Matalan roller-coaster has rarely slowed. By 1995 there were 50 stores across the UK - all with plentiful parking spaces - and two years later, in order to cope with the companys phenomenal growth, the head office was relocated from Preston to Skelmersdale along with a new distribution centre. Matalan now trades from five million square feet located in 190 stores.

Hargreaves floated the firm on the stock market in 1998 but bought it back in 2006 for 817m. However, when he tried to sell the company in late 2009 no buyer would match his 1.5 billion asking price.

Today, it should be worth around 1.25 billion. In April of this year he refinanced the company in a 525m deal which saw him take a 250m dividend. Allowing for any debt in the business, he should be worth around 1.3 billion.

Throughout its existence, Matalan has been solely focused on low prices and low costs - Hargreaves was well known for switching off the lights after meetings.

Today, he is regarded as having pioneered the high volume import of goods manufactured in the Far East. But, unlike many retail giants, he has built up a reputation for not screwing suppliers to the ground, recognising they need to make profits, too.

Matalans future direction is less clear. Hargreaves has three children - Maxine, the eldest , and sons Jason and Jamey. Of the three Maxine, educated at Maghull High, appears to share her fathers attributes.

Like him, she quit school and went straight into retailing, initially working with her father and then opening a boutique in Southport. All three have had roles in the company - Maxine has held the post of director of fashion - but is there one big enough to fill dads substantial (and, no doubt, heavily discounted) shoes?


Lord Grantchester and the Moores family

The Labour peer Lord Grantchester is the grandson of the late Sir John Moores, founder of the football pools. The Moores family has strong connections in the county and Grantchester himself has an eight per cent stake in Everton FC and recently donated 100,000 towards the 800,000 cost of acquiring the Everton Collection of memorabilia. The family wealth derives from the pools business which started in 1923. It later branched out into mail order and retailing. The family sold some stores in 1998 and the pools side of the business in 2000.

Those proceeds and past dividends are worth 445m but another windfall came in 2002 when the remaining department stores and mail order operation were sold for 750m. In all, the family is thought to be worth 1200m after-tax and charitable donations.


John Whittaker

The low-key John Whittaker nearly became a Catholic priest but went into the quarrying business, before moving into property. In the 1980s, he fought a long drawn out and, sometimes, bitter battle to take over the Manchester Ship Canal Company. He is now best known for developing the Trafford Centre shopping complex. Whittaker has branched out into other areas including ports, airports and alternative energy through his Peel operation. His two main companies, Peel Holdings (TCL) and Peel Holdings (Land and Property) showed 1.2 billion in 2008-09. Whittakers share is worth 660m. His other assets, including personal property and the quoted stakes should take him to 1.060 billion.


Fred and Peter Done

Fred Done was raised on Salfords tough Ordsall estate in the 1950s. Working with his brother Peter, below, he started out as bookies runners for their father who ran what was then an illegal betting operation. From a single betting shop, the pair now own what has become one of the largest bookies chain in Britain.

The Done brothers also have interests ranging from legal services to insurance and sports promotion and a restaurant. We can see four main but separate Done companies, together making nearly 31.5m profit on over 2.9 billion sales in 2008-09. With past salaries, the Dones are worth 660m.


Phillip Sheppard and family

Liverpool-based European Metal Recycling saw its 2008 profits almost halve to 63m though sales rose by 900m to nearly 3.1 billion.. Headed by Phillip Sheppard, it is one of the worlds largest recycling companies. It handles more than half of the 2m cars scrapped in Britain each year, putting one through its shredders every 30 seconds. The Sheppard family own all the 530m business and we add 30m for past dividends etc.


Trevor Hemmings

Trevor Hemmings sold the famous Blackpool Tower to the local council for around 40m recently. Hemmings started out as a brickies apprentice locally in Leyland, later building his own housebuilding firm, selling it for 1.5m in the early 1970s to the late Sir Fred Pontin.

Hemmings became his right hand man in the Pontins leisure operation. He later took over the business and sold it in 1989 for a hefty profit. In 2000 he bought Littlewoods pools operation from the Moores family for 161m. His main holdings company, the Northern Trust Group, has 132m net assets. In all Hemmings, right, is now easily worth 500m.


The Warburton Family

This company started off a as small family bakery in Bolton and now has a substantial slice of the British bread market. Warburtons bread has become a household name in recent years through major TV advertising and this has helped it spread from its northern headquarters to all parts of the UK. The business, run by three brothers, above, is worth its 471m net asset figure and dividends of 75m since 1994 means the family is worth around 495m post-tax.


Sir Paul McCartney

A busy 2009 for Sir Paul McCartney with tours of North America and Europe. There was also the launch of the whole Beatles catalogue re-mastered and re-packaged for the first time since 1987 and re-launched alongside the music video game Beatles-Rock Band.

The main Beatles company, Apple Corps, is still doing well. In the year to January 2009 it made a 6.2m profit on 15.7m sales. That followed on from a profit on sale of fixed assets of 50,607,032 in the year to January 2008, which allowed a payment of 35,143,326 in dividends to the shareholders including McCartney, who is worth 475m this year.


Tom Morris and family

Liverpool-based discount retailer Home Bargains was started by Tom Morris who opened his first store in 1976. The stores, run with brother Joe, below, sell toys, household goods, cosmetics, food and drink, encompassing brands from Lego to Vidal Sassoon. Morris had retailing in the blood, as both his parents and grandparents were shopkeepers.

In 2008-09, TJ Morris, the parent company for Home Bargains, produced 42.6m profit on 481.5m sales. With a strong balance sheet and low borrowings, it should easily be worth 400m in the current climate. Morris and his family own it all. Other assets add 10m.


Lord Alliance

Home shopping group N Brown reported a 7% fall in profits in 2009-10 to 85.7m. Lord Alliance, the N Brown chairman, had earlier warned that the year would be very challenging. Alliance has, of course, seen many ups and downs in the fashion and textile sector since arriving in Manchester virtually penniless at the age of 17 from Iran in the austere years after the second world war. Alliance was made a life peer by the Liberal Democrats in May 2004. The Alliance family stake in N Brown is now worth 280m.


Martin Ainscough and family

Ainscough Crane Hire, was founded in 1976 by Gerard Ainscough. The Wigan-based company was run by his three sons Martin, James and Brendan, until its sale for 255m in October 2007 to its managers. The Ainscough family, substantial supporters of local charities, had around 90% of the shares worth around 230m.

After-tax and allowing for other assets, the family should be worth perhaps 200m. They are now investing heavily in property through Ainscough Strategic Land, which looks for sites to hold and develop on a long-term basis. We can also see around 12m net assets in various Ainscough companies including Ainscough Investments.


Tony Cann and family

Promethean World makes electronic whiteboards for schools. The Blackburn-based operation was founded by Tony Cann in 1996. He is a serial electronics entrepreneur and inventor, and in 1999, Cann launched the whiteboard in the UK and sold a few to schools. By 2004, enough had been shifted for the Government to be interested and to realise their potential.

In March 2010 Promethean World floated on the stock market and is now valued at 398m. Cann and his family trusts retain a stake of 89.1m shares worth 174m. Other assets including a metals group, a specialist cycle company, a chemical company and a steel spring operation should take Cann, above, and his family to 194m easily.


Dave Whelan and family

Wigan Athletic finished the 2009-10 football season 16th in the premiership, just above the relegation zone. Dave Whelan, chairman and owner, will be hoping the Latics can pull off yet another escape from the dreaded drop come May. Whelan, above, actually started his career as a footballer but his career ended when he broke his leg while playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup Final.

He then turned himself into a successful entrepreneur, and built the JJB sports retailer. In 2007 he sold his family stake in JJB for 190m to an Icelandic-backed consortium and left the company. Despite the hefty investment in Wigan, Whelan should be worth 190m as he has other assets and sold over 60m worth of shares in previous years.


Doreen Lofthouse and family

Fleetwood, the Lancashire coastal town, is home to Fishermans Friend, the super-strong lozenges. There are now 19 flavours and some 96% of the output goes overseas to 120 countries. Concocted by a Fleetwood chemist, James Lofthouse, in 1865 the original menthol and eucalyptus recipe was seen as an aid to local fisherman who braved freezing conditions in the North Sea and the Arctic.

In 2009, profits fell from 6m to 5.8m on sales up slightly at 34m.The company also has net assets of over 66m. The huge success of the Fishermans Friend worldwide created a brand now worth around 175m according to an interview given by a family member to a business paper in Malaysia in 2006.

We are more cautious and settle for 160m. The Lofthouse family, headed by Dorothy, right, has also had hefty dividends and salaries over the years and we add another 15m, taking the Lofthouses to 180m.


Stuart Wall

Manchester-based Opal Property group is the biggest provider of high-quality student accommodation in Britain It also provides affordable accommodation for key workers such as NHS staff, and has also developed private apartments. The company, founded in 1982 by Stuart Wall, made an a loss of 24.6m in 2009 but with net assets of 209.5m, should be worth perhaps 180m in the current climate. Wall owns it all.


Geoffrey Halstead and family

Bury-based James Halstead makes vinyl tiles and motorbike accessories. The operation was founded in 1915 by the grandfather of the present chairman, Geoffrey Halstead. He only has a small direct stake but the family and family trusts own nearly half the company, which has rebuffed several takeover approaches. The Halstead family stake is now worth 162m. Past dividends and other assets should take the family to 174m.


Sir Michael Bibby and family

Bibby Line Group, the Liverpool shipping line now 203 years old, has diversified into areas such as debt factoring, financial services and food distribution. In 2008 profits came in at 23m on 1.034 billion sales. The groups net assets rose to 212.2m and cautiously we value the company at that level. That values the stake held by Bibby family trusts at around 170m.


Henry Moser and family

Co-founded by Henry Moser in 1973, Jerrold Holdings specialises in secured lending to both residential and commercial customers. Moser left school at 16 and worked as a market trader. Jerrold Holdings, saw profits rise slightly to 69m on sales of nearly 149.5m in the year to June 2009. Barclays Private Equity invested 113.5m for a 30% stake in September 2006. We cautiously value the business at 200m in the current climate. That values the Moser family stake at 140m. Past dividends etc should add 25m.


Simon and Bobby Arora

In 2005 brothers Simon and Bobby Arora took over B&M Retail, a Blackpool-based discount retailer from its private equity owner for an undisclosed sum. Since then by using their contacts with China, they have secured whole ranges of non-grocery items at rock bottom prices and they also sell 2,000 grocery lines sourced domestically.

B&Ms parent company, Firesource saw its profits soar to 32.1m on nearly 427m sales in 2009. It currently has 190 stores and there are plans to open 40 stores in 2010. As a signal of future intentions, a 24m distribution centre in Liverpool will come on stream this year with the capacity to
service 400 stores. It should be worth 200m on these figures. The Arora brothers have a stake worth around 150m at least.

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