Gordon & MacPhail owners join Sunday Times Rich List

The family behind the Gordon & MacPhail whisky production, supply and retailing operation have made the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time.

The newspaper estimated the collective net worth of the Urquhart family – whose interests include the Benromach distillery, a whisky shop in Elgin and a major independent bottling business ­– at £125 million, putting them in the lower reaches of its list of the top 1,000 richest people in the UK.

It places them on an equal footing with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and Earl Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana.

The highest ranking person in the chart to derive a substantial part of their fortune from the drinks industry is Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken of the Dutch brewing family, whose stake in Heineken is worth £11 billion according to the paper.

De Carvalho-Heineken is ranked seventh in the top 1,000.

Sir Anwar Pervez, chairman of Bestway, which last year added Bargain Booze and Wine Rack to its holdings, added £439 million to their fortune in the past year, according to the Sunday Times’ calculations, and now have wealth of over £3.5 billion. This puts them in 42nd place overall.

Other Bestway shareholders also feature on the list. Chief executive Zameer Choudrey is at number 82 with wealth of £1.8 billion, and Younis Sheikh and family are at 227, and are worth £609 million.

The William Grant Scotch-owning Gordon family are 54th on the list with a combined fortune of £2.9 billion, up £300 million over 2018. The company’s brands include Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s gin and Drambuie.

Majestic wine founder John Apthorp sits just outside the top 500. The tumbling value of Majestic shares and a reduced stockholding contributed to a fall in the family fortune from £268 million to £241 million, The Sunday Times said.

Internet wine retailing tycoons Tony and Barbara Laithwaite appear on the list with an estimated worth of £163 million.

Yevgeny Chichvarkin, who made his fortune in mobile phone retailing in Russia before opening Hedonism Wines in London, sneaks on to the tail end of the list with estimated wealth of £120 million.

Brewdog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie retain their places in the top 1,000 after debuting last year, with wealth estimated at £262 million and £228 million respectively.

The gin boom has benefitted Fever Tree tonic founders Charles Rolls and Tim Warrilow. Rolls added £83 million over the year to put his worth at £423 million, while Warrilow’s fortune was £38 million higher than 2018 at £205 million.

The lower reaches of the top 1,000 also feature Hertfordshire’s McMullen brewing family and, for the first time, Mark and Anthony Woodhouse of the Dorset-based Badger Brewery and Hall & Woodhouse pub chain.

Others from the drinks industry on the Rich List include: Vivien Imerman, whose investments include a stake in South African wine producer KWV; siblings Aaron and Tania Hillman of Tomintoul whisky owner Angus Dundee Distillers; and Leonard Russell, managing director of Ian Macleod Distillers, owner of Glengoyne and Tamdhu whiskies and Edinburgh gin.

The list also feature oil and gas billionaires the Perrodo family, whose members include Bertrand, an investor in the internet drinks retailer 31 Dover.