Ahluwalia, Farmer, Todd on Sunday Times Rich List 2011
The Sunday Times published its yearly Rich List supplement this weekend, with several names that will be familiar to regular readers of Tyres & Accessories/tyrepress.com appearing in its pages. The weekly newspaper surveys the identifiable “minimum wealth of Britain’s 1,000 richest people or families”.
Euro Car Parts founder Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia reaches 313th on the Rich List, having made an additional £43 million on the Sunday Times’ 2010 estimation of his wealth. The paper says that it reached its evaluation based on reports in May 2010 that the company was up for sale with a valuation of £200 million, having seen profits rise from £6.6 million to £17 million across its 85 branches. However, when Tyres & Accessories contacted ECP’s press representatives, they suggested that while the company was experiencing “record trading” those reports “couldn’t be further from the truth” and even questioned the sales and profit figures cited by the Sunday Times, which also added a further “£25m for his other assets”.
Kwik Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer increased his wealth by £21 million to £136 million, gaining 61 places and moving from equal 574th to 513th. Farmer gained £78 million following the 1999 sale of Kwik Fit to Ford for £1 billion, though he also “retained the freeholds on many Kwik Fit properties and is heavily involved in property and other investments”, according to the Sunday Times feature. The Sunday Times adds £39 million from his control of “half a dozen small companies” to Farmer’s Kwik Fit earnings, with his sale of “stakes and his ownership of Hibernian, the Edinburgh football club” factored into the paper’s estimation.
Ranked equal 574th with Farmer on the 2010 List, Andrew Page’s estimated wealth remains static on the new list, having reinvested in his eponymously named car parts distribution company in the North of England in a management buyout worth £109 million last year. Page, remaining chairman of the 41 depot business, is estimated to be worth £115 million.
Tony Todd, founder of Micheldever Tyre Auto Services, makes the list in 782nd place, his wealth estimated at £90 million. This figure is £5 million more than on the 2010 List, though Todd retired during the management buyout in 2006. The Sunday Times mentions the takeover speculation that reared its head in April and May last year, with valuations surfacing anywhere between £115 million and £200 million, though the paper says it has taken a more cautious approach closer to the Graphite Capital-backed buyout of £85 million. Micheldever took 90th place on the Sunday Times Top Track 250 list of the most successful mid-market privately owned companies in October 2010.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the leading figure from the automotive industry on the Rich List 2011 is Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, who is estimated to have increased his wealth from £1,125 million on the 2010 List, to £2,500 million, making him Britain’s 23rd richest person, on the strength of the figure quoted in Tom Bower’s recently published biography, No Angel. Other motor racing names to feature include McLaren Automotive chairman Ron Dennis (389th), Ross Brawn and Sir Frank Williams (equal 703rd).