Ten drinks industry billionaires have scored a spot on The Australian’s Richest 250 List for 2023, the biggest annual study of the country’s wealthiest individuals.
There are 139 billionaires and 31 women in total on this year’s list, with their wealth reaching a record $531.96 billion.
As for the drinks industry, if you count pokies, then Len Ainsworth, owner of Aristocrat Leisure, comes out on top in No.21 place on the top 250 with a fortune of $4.24 billion.
Otherwise the no.1 drinks billionaire on the list is Bruce Mathieson at No.36.
The Australian reports: “Mathieson is the doyen of pubs, having started with his first hotel in 1975. He has bought and sold about 1000 pubs since, though it is his big shareholding in Endeavour, the ASX-listed entity that houses ALH pubs and hotels as well as bottle shop brands Dan Murphy’s and BWS, that now accounts for much of his wealth. He also owns large landholdings on Melbourne’s fringes, and bought a 9.9 per stake in casino group Star Entertainment in February.”
The Australian highlighted Arthur Laundy (pictured above at his 80th birthday) in its Richest 250 coverage. It describes him as “one of the kings of the Australian hotel scene, participating in many of the $2.2bn hotel deals negotiated last year, either buying pubs himself or backing younger players into transactions.”
Laundy told the publication he was not looking to buy any more pubs, but remained passionate about the future of the industry and said he has no intention of slowing down at 81.
“I have never considered retirement,” Laundy said. “I work seven days a week. I play golf on Wednesdays. I could work up to 10 hours a day, more likely six to eight hours a day. I start very early at 5.30am, have a swim and then go to the gym. Before lunch I take 40-50 calls.”
The drinks billionaires
- Bruce Mathieson, founder, ALH ($2.9 billion)
- Leonie Baldock & Alexandra Burt, directors, VOC Group – Voyager Estate ($2.83 billion each)
- Marc Besen & family, Chairman, TarraWarra Winery ($2.45 billion)
- Marcello Casella, former director, Casella Family Brand; Giuseppe Casella, Director, Casella Family Brands; John Casella, Director, Casella Family Brands ($1.96 billion each)
- Arthur Laundy & family – Owner, Laundy Hotels ($1.51 billion)
- Justin Hemmes & family, Chief executive, Merivale ($1.4 billion)
- Sandy Oatley & family – owner Robert Oatley Vineyards and Woolwich Dock in Sydney ($1.34 billion)
- Theo Karedis & family, Co-founder, Theo’s Liquor and Arkadia Property Group ($1.16 billion)
- Dick Honan, Chairman, Manildra Group ($932 million) – Manildra is a major ethanol producer for the spirits industry
- John Singleton, owner of the Elanora Hotel at Gosford ($763 million)