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Rich list 2015: Shropshire border tycoon's fortune plunges by £50 million

Oswestry | News | Published:

Phones 4U founder John Caudwell has seen his fortune diminish by around £50 million in the last year, causing him to fall a place on the Sunday Times Rich List.

Mr Caudwell, who founded the business before selling it for nearly £1.5 billion, has moved from being the third to the fourth richest person in the West Midlands, but still has a fortune worth £1.45 billion.

The 62-year-old, who lives in a 50-room Jacobean mansion close to the Shropshire border near Eccleshall, was ranked joint 65th on the national list.

Kirsty Bertarelli
  • Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli £9,450m
  • Lord Bamford and family £3,100m
  • Denise, John and Peter Coates £2,350m
  • John Caudwell £1,450m
  • Tony Murray and family £1,013m
  • Steve Morgan £740m
  • Tony Gallagher £550m
  • Sir Peter Rigby £550m
  • Roy Richardson and family £480m
  • Lord Edmiston £472m
  • Caspar MacDonald-Hall £440m
  • Thomas Mackie and family £350m
  • Paul Newey £235m
  • Richard Harpin £218m
  • Keith Bradshaw and family £180m
  • Simon Clarke and family £180m
  • Sir Euan Anstrther-Gough- Calthorpe and family £175m
  • Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan £160m
  • Andrew and Linda Leaver £150m
  • Alan Jackson £137m
  • William Lloyd and family £137m

Last year, Mr Caudwell led the criticism as Phones 4U collapsed in the face of revised terms and conditions by major mobile phone network providers.

This year he is joined in the top 20 richest people in the West Midlands by William Lloyd and family, the owners of the Lloyds Animal Feed group of companies, which is based in Oswestry and which turns over more than £370 million a year.

The family's £137 million fortune – up by £5 million compared with last year – secured them joint 20th place on the regional list along with Birmingham telecoms entrepreneur Alan Jackson, with whom the family also share 704th slot on the national list.

The Lloyd family had been listed in Wales in previous Rich Lists.

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Once again, singer-songwriter Kirsty Bertarelli and her husband Ernesto top the regional list. A combination of pharmaceuticals, ceramics and other ventures have amassed them a fortune of £9.45 billion.

Staffordshire-born Kirsty's song Black Coffee – a hit for All Saints in 2000 – is an account of her falling in love with Italian-born Ernesto.

Kirsty, 43, is a former Miss UK and was born into a 200-year-old Stoke-on-Trent ceramics dynasty. She took a break from music while the couple's three children were very young but resumed her career last year with the release of a new album, Indigo Shores.

Ernesto took control of his family's Geneva-based pharmaceuticals and biotech company, Serona, in 1996. When it was sold 10 years later, the family benefited to the tune of 8.6 billion dollars. The Bertarellis' overall wealth is down £300 million this year, but it is still enough to rank them sixth richest overall in the UK.

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JCB boss Lord Bamford is second in the region with a £3.1 billion fortune based on the runaway success of its JCB digger business. Based in Rocester, Staffordshire, it is the world's third largest supplier of earth-moving equipment and made pre-tax profits of £313 million in 2013. The business, which should be worth about £2.8 billion, is a key donor to the Conservative Party, gifting about £3 million in the past five years through its JCB Research arm.

The Bet365 owners Denise, John and Peter Coates – who also own Stoke City FC – moved ahead of Mr Caudwell after increasing their fortune by £1.15 billion in the last year, to move into third place with a total of £2.35 billion.

Tony Murray, whose business interests include Wolverhampton-based plant hire firm Andrew Sykes, was fifth on the list with £1.01 billion, while Wolves owner Steve Morgan clocked in in sixth place with £740 million. Morgan, 62, founded housebuilder Redrow. When the business floated in 1994, he sold £240 million worth of shares and he has an ongoing £515 million stake in the business.

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