Despite losing more than £450 million in the last year, Mike Ashley is still the richest man in the East Midlands.
The Sports Direct boss is now worth £1.976 billion, according to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, which has put his wealth fall down to his 30 per cent stake in Debenhams becoming worthless and Sports Direct’s profits falling 72.5 per cent in 2017.
NottinghamshireLive reports Mr Ashley, whose Sports Direct firm is based in Shirebrook, has had a particularly busy year, with the purchase of the struggling department store House of Fraser, Sofa.com and Evans Cycles.
Derbyshire-based John Bloor is the second in the regional list once again, with his wealth increasing £54 million to £1.912 billion.
Mr Bloor has continued to profit from his motorcycle and construction empire, with Triumph, his motorcycle firm, selling 60,000 bikes and Bloor Homes building 3,250 homes.
Will Adderley and family, founders of Dunelm, move up one position to third, taking over from Tony Langley, now in fourth.
Mr Langley’s firm Langley Holdings is the sixth biggest company in the county.
He started in business in 1975, aged 20, and taught himself engineering while running a company making a range of machinery including electrical systems for data centres and welding equipment.
According to the Nottingham Post Top 200 companies list, the firm is worth £800 million. In the Rich List, Mr Langley’s wealth has remained the same at £1.345 billion.
Meanwhile, Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross has retained his position in the region as the seventh richest person, despite a fall in his wealth of £32 million to £668 million.
Born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, Mr Ross obtained a law degree at the University of Nottingham and he has since become one of the institution’s largest donors. He was the major funder for the £40 million David Ross Sports Village at the university’s Park campus.
A dip in Dixons Carphone’s value put a dent in his net worth last year.
Also retaining their position is William Parente and family, who have seen their wealth increase £9 million to £357 million.
Mr Parente, who received a CBE for services to the arts and philosophy in 2017, inherited 62,000 acres of the East Midlands in 2008, which includes the 15,000 acre Welbeck Abbey estate, which straddles the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire border.
Rising one place to 16 is Sir Harry Djanogly and family, whose wealth has remained the same from 2018 at £300 million.
Sir Harry fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1935 and he built up the family business supplying knitwear and hosiery. His manufacturing firm merged with Coats Viyella in 1986.
The philanthropist, who owns the world’s largest collection of LS Lowry paintings, is now one of Nottingham’s biggest benefactors, with its two universities among the organisations to benefit from his generosity.
His name can also be spotted across the city with institutions such as the Djanogly City Academy and the Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly Resource Centre.
The founders of Wilko, Tony and Lisa Wilkinson, have dropped out of the Top 20 this year.
Robert Watts, the compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “Today’s super-rich are often not who you think they would be. Our East Midlands Rich List includes a former squash coach, an ex-plasterer and someone who once sold flooring.
“But Mike Ashley, John Bloor and Mel Morris today have combined wealth of more than £4bn. They are typical of the self-made entrepreneurs who now dominate the pages of the Sunday Times Rich List.
“With the high street struggling and Brexit unresolved, it’s striking that many of the rich have actually seen their wealth fall over the past year.
“A quarter of those on this region’s Rich List are less affluent than a year ago.
“So the idea that the rich only ever get richer isn’t necessarily true.”
The Sunday Times Rich List will be published on Sunday, May 12.
The full East Midlands Top 20 list is
- How did Vietnam’s four richest people earn their billions?
- First Vietnamese billionaire listed in top 200 world richest people
- Vietnam’s richest man among 200 richest people in the world
- Top five richest people on Vietnam stock market
- Four Vietnamese among world's richest people: Forbes
- Vietnamese-American billionaire among 1,000 richest people in the world
- Carlos Slim is biggest loser in world's Top 400 Richest People
- World Economic Forum recognizes 20 companies from East Asia as global growth companies
- Germany: Over 20,000 people evacuate due to bomb
- Hanoi painters reveal Vietnam landscapes, people at new exhibit