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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Scotland’s billionaires revealed in Scotland’s Rich List

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The ten richest individuals and families in Scotland have a combined wealth of £14.715billion,  an increase of 9% in the past twelve months, according to the latest Sunday Times ‘Rich List’.

The Grant-Gordon family is still the wealthiest in Scotland  with an estimated £2.37 billion, up from £2.16billion a year ago.

The family owns William Grant and Sons which produces Glenfiddich single malt whisky as well as Hendrick’s gin and Drambuie.

The William Grant and Sons portfolio
The William Grant and Sons portfolio

The Dufftown-based whisky firm, which is now in its fifth generation since William Grant founded the business in 1887, produced record profits in 2015 amid booming global demand for premium spirits.

Mohamed AlFayed and family retained their spot at number two on the list with £1.7 billion. The former Harrods owner and his family are based at their Highland home at Balnagown Castle, and 65,000-acre estate near Invergordon.

Third is Mahdi al-Tajir, who owns bottled water firm Highland Spring, saw his wealth fall in the past year, and comes in at number three with £1.67billion.

Bahrain-born al-Tajir has interests in metal, oil and gas trading in the UK and holds his property portfolio through Drift Properties. This boasted £227m net assets in 2015. His Scottish bottled water operation is hugely successful in the current climate with a profit of £4.3m on record sales of £103m in 2015.

Forth on the list is Buckie-born businessman Trond Mohn and his sister, Marit Mohn Westlake, who made their fortune in Norway and are valued at £1.62 billion.

Aberdeen-based North Sea entrepreneur Sir Ian Wood and his family are at number 5 on the list, with a fortune of £1.6billion, up £160million from a year ago.

The Dundee newspaper publishing family of DC Thomson have placed at sixth with their wealth now standing at £1.285 billion, having diversified into new media, digital technology, retail, radio and television.

With the largest increase in wealth this year, John Shaw and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw have now entered the realm of the billionaires as a result of their Bangalore-based biopharmaceutical firm Biocon. They boast £1.15bn to their names, earning a wealth increase of £530m in the last 12 months alone, largely off the back of the surging value of Biocon. They rank joint seventh position in Scotland.

The family of the late new and used cars salesman Sir Arnold Clark, who died last month, aged 89, are ninth, with a £1.1billion.

Entrepreneur Jim McColl completes the top ten with a fortune of £1.07 billion.

Jim McColl most famously made his money with Clyde Blowers which presently consists of 85 companies in 27 different countries, employing 5,000 people around the world, with an annual turnover in excess of £1.35 billion. He most recently bought Grantown-based MacKellar Sub-Sea and associated firm Tritech Nairn out of administration.

Robert Watts, the Compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List 2017, said: “Our Scottish list of 10 billionaires shatters the myth this country’s economy runs on oil alone. Scotland is a place where 10-figure fortunes can be built from whisky, car dealing or even bottled water.

“This reflects the changing nature of wealth in 21st century Britain. Gone are the days when the Rich List would be dominated by finance, property or manufacturing. Greater diversity of entrepreneurial success is good news for the wider economy and ultimately us all.”

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