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29. The Weston family


Position last year: 32

One of the wealthiest entries on our list this year, The Weston Family, rocketed up The Sunday Times rich list this year to number 3, compared with 2014’s ranking at 11.

Cousins Galen and George Weston and family saw their fortunes increase by £3.7bn over the past year to £11bn thanks to both acquisitions and growth across their transatlantic businesses. The family’s holdings range from department store group Selfridges, value chain Primark, Irish department store chain Brown Thomas and Canadian department store group Holt Renfrew.

This year the family made another acquisition when they bought Dublin department store Arnotts outright. The group already owned 50% of the retailer but bought the rest of the business for an undisclosed sum in November from Fitzwilliam Finance Partners, an investment vehicle owned by Irish property developer Noel Smyth. Fitzwilliam Finance Partners was backed by the Weston family when it bought the 50% stake in Arnotts from rival private equity firm Apollo Global Management in May. Since the deal was approved by Ireland’s Competition Authority six months ago the Weston family has invested £76m into Arnotts.

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