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Fortune favours the self-made


Edward Lonergan 63

Deramore Holdings £46m Edward Lonergan, 53, from Belfast, owns and runs Deramore Holdings, a highly profitable property developer and construction company. Incorporated in 1987, Deramore saw its profits fall from £4.9m to £3.9m in the year to March 2003, but with net of over £47.6m, Deramore would easily be worth its asset figure. He also has 50 per cent of Lochinver, a property company with £5.8m net assets and a £1m stake in Deramore (L) Ltd. We value Lonergan at £46m in all.

Ivan Twigden 64

Bewick Homes £46m In 1993, Ivan Twigden sold his East Anglian building company deal that netted him n From page 33 at least £30m. He kept some of the assets and now runs Bedford-based Bewick Homes, which we value on its £11.3m net asset figure in the year to March 2003.We can see five other Twigden businesses with £7.5m of net assets.With the original sale proceeds and these other assets, Twigden, 65, is now easily worth £46m. He has extensive racing interests.

Tony Pidgley 65

The Berkeley Group £45m See left Mike & Bruce Walker 66 Walker Holdings £44m Mike,63, and Bruce Walker,39, own and run two Edinburgh-based construction companies, Walker Holdings (Scotland) and Westerwood, and have stakes in other companies. In all the companies have around £4.6m of profit attributable to the Walkers in their 2002 or 2003 accounts.

There is a property company with over £5m net assets. In all we can also see over £30m of net assets attributable to the Walkers in the companies.We value their interests at £42m, adding £2m for past salaries and dividends.

Neil Pullan & Family 67

J Pullan & Sons £43m Neil Pullan, 73, is managing director of J Pullan & Sons, a Leeds-based general construction group. Founded in 1885, the fifth generation of the Pullan family now run and own the company. In 2002, when J Pullan made £2m profit, it had £29m of net assets.The company is easily worth the net assets. The family also own the Wilkinson Building Company (Leeds) Limited which had £13m of net assets in the year to July 2003, and Horus Ltd with £635,000 net assets. In all the Pullan family is easily worth around £43m in total.

John Sunley & Family 68

Sunley Family £42m John Sunley,68, heads the family company, Sunley Family Ltd, which is engaged in property investment and house building. In 2002, Sunley Family's profits were £2.9m on sales up sharply at £56m. It is worth its £35.8m net assets.We add £8m for Sunley's other assets and past dividends including Sunley Farms with £1.7m net assets.

Iain Bett & Family 69

Bett Bros £41m Bett Brothers, the Dundee-based house builder sharply increased its completions from 850 to 1,200 and moved into northern England and the Midlands in its last year as a family-controlled operation.

The family - led by chairman Iain Bett, 57 - had around 47 per cent of the company, and its stake was worth around £44m when the company was taken over by Remo Dipre (see above) in June last year.

After tax and allowing for other assets and past dividends etc. the Bett family is now worth around £40m.

David McLean & Family 70

David McLean (Holdings) £41m David McLean,61, has built his eponymous construction group into one of the major contractors in Wales. In the year to June 2003, its parent company Broomco (1563) made £4.5m profit on sales of £171m. On these figures it is worth £40m. McLean owns 96 per cent worth £38m. A £5.6m salary in 2001-2002 and other assets should take McLean to around £41m after tax, Francis Burke & Family 71 Oak Manor Holdings £40m Oak Manor Holdings, a profitable construction and civil engineering group, is run by Burke.The Uxbridge-based company made £4.3m profit on £42.8m of sales in 2002.

With a strong balance sheet and £25.9m net assets, the business should easily be worth £38m on these figures.Burke and his family own all the shares.We add another £2m for past salaries and other assets.

Mervyn Stewkesbury 72

Betterment Properties (Weymouth) £40m Mervyn Stewkesbury, 70, runs and largely owns Betterment Properties (Weymouth), a Dorset-based house builder started in 1967. It has produced consistent profits and made £6.2m profit in the year to May 2003, when it had £22m net assets.With the consistent profit figure, we value the business at around £40m.

Angela Yeoman & Family 73

Foster Yeoman £40m See below left Johnny Byrne & Family 74 Byrne Group £39m Johnny Byrne, 58, runs the Byrne Group, a building and concrete contractor based in Barnes, south-west London. Founded in 1973, the business built the concrete frames supporting the HSBC Tower at Canary Wharf, as well as working on other projects including the Millennium Dome, Chelsea Football Club's new stand and Wimbledon's Number One Court. In the year to May 2003, Byrne's profits fell sharply to £3.2m on £113m sales. It is easily worth £32m on these figures.We add £7m for past dividends etc to the Byrne family.

John Nike & Family 75

Nike Land Securities £38m Jeremy Cavanna & Family 76 Cavanna Group £37m The Cavanna Group was founded in 1923 by the grandfather of Jeremy Cavanna, who now runs the operation. It builds around 130 homes a year on sites in southwest England. Profits have shot ahead to £7.6m on £23m sales in 2003. In the current climate, the company would be worth at least £36m on these figures.We add £1m to the Cavanna family for past salaries and other assets. Jeremy Cavanna, 48, is one of the family directors with a small stake but he is here representing the wider family.

Solomon Potel & Family 77

Fairholme Estates £36m Fairholme Estates (Holdings), a Londonbased shopfitting and building contractor, is owned by Potel,71, and his family trusts.

In the year to August 2003, it made £3.3m profit on £4.4m sales. But we value the business and Potel family on its £35.8m net assets James Boot & Family 78 Henry Boot & Sons £35m See left Geoff Dyson & Family 79 Chartdale £35m In 1986 Geoff Dyson bought out Alfred McAlpine's South Humberside's house building operation in a £2m deal. In 2002, Grimsby-based Chartdale Homes saw its profits rise sharply to £6.6m on £23.4m sales. Dyson, 55, who now owns all the shares with his family trusts, is worth perhaps £35m on these figures.

Peter Gadsby 80

Birch £35m In 2001 Peter Gadsby sold his 77 per cent stake in Birch, the Derby-based property and construction group. No price was disclosed in the sale, but we reckon that it must have been at least £30m on the back of Birch's £3.3m profit on £64.6m sales in 1999. Gadsby, 55, stayed as chairman of Birch's development division. He has widened his interests recently in telecoms and property investment through his Cedar House operation.We add another £5m for these other assets.

Robert Hill & Family 81

The Hills Group £35m Robert Hill, 64, is chairman of The Hills Group, a Marlborough-based property to construction and gravel business. It has five gravel quarries and five landfill sites in the Swindon area.The highly profitable company, incorporated in 1954, is owned by the Hill family and trusts. It is easily worth £30m on the back of £5.1m profit and sales of £43.3m in the year to April 2003.With dividends of over £8.5m from 1995-2003, we add another £5m for other assets after tax.

Jeremy Pilkington & Family 82

VP £35m See below Michael Walker 83 James Walker (Leith) £35m Michael Walker, 60, chairs James Walker (Leith) Ltd, the Edinburgh-based sawmill and timber group. He joined the firm in 1955 and after a spell in Sweden he returned to take charge of the business which now employs over 800 staff. The company has grown by acquisition of several English timber groups and through moving into house building.We value the group at £45m on the back of £6m profit on £109m sales in 2002-03.That values the Walker family's stake at £35m.

Kevin & Dermot Clancy 84

Clancy Group £34m See right Stephen & Paul Harrison 85 Harron Group £34m Harron Homes, a North Yorkshire house builder, builds around 250 homes a year across Yorkshire and north-west England. It is owned by the Harrison brothers, Stephen, 34, and Paul, 32, and their family.

In 2002-03, Harron made £4.3m profit on £28.5m sales. It is easily worth £34m and we value the Harrison family on that figure.

Nigel Parker & Family 86

Bennett £34m Founded in 1947, Bennett Homes made its name building high quality retirement bungalows and has diversified in recent years into other areas of house building.The business is owned by Nigel Parker, 64, the chairman, and his family. In the year to October 2003, profits jumped to £4.8m on £14.5m sales.With a solid balance sheet, Bennett should easily be worth £34m, and we value the Parker family at that sum.

Nigel Timmis & Family 87

Abbey Manor Group £34m Nigel Timmis, 43, managing director of the Yeovil-based property-to-construction group, Abbey Manor, has presided over a surge in profits to £5m on £14.5m turnover in 2002.With a strong balance sheet, the business is easily worth £30m on these figures, It is largely owned by the Timmis family and trusts. We can see another £5m of assets in four other companies.

Charles Clowes 88

Clowes Developments £33m Charles Clowes, 64, is chairman of Clowes Developments, a Derbyshire-based developer.He owns all the shares in the company which saw its profits fall from £6.6m to £2.7m on £11.7m sales in 2002-03.With a strong balance sheet and nearly £29m of net assets, it is easily worth £30m on these figures.We add another £3m for Clowes' other business assets.

Michael & Pauline Cox 89

Hollybrook Homes £33m Working on developments in Southwark and east London have propelled Hollybrook Homes to a sharp increase in profits for 2002-03 when it made £5.5m profit on £36.3m sales.With nearly £17m net assets, Hollybrook should easily be worth £33m. It is owned by Michael, 48, and Pauline Cox, 50, a husband and wife team, who are respectively chairman and managing director.

We value the pair on the £33m figure.

Paul Rowley 90

Rowland Homes £33m Entrepreneur Paul Rowley, 38, is the man who is bringing apartment-style living to Preston with his City Space PR1 development. Rowley left school at 16, worked as a brickie, and later moved into management. In 1993, he launched Rowland Homes with a partner and a £20,000 loan.

He paid the loan back and bought out his partner in five years. In the year to August 2003, it made £4.2m profit on £19.4m sales.

Hugh Bourn & Family 91

Hugh Bourn Developments (Wragby) £32m Hugh Bourn Developments has been building homes in Lincolnshire for over 30 years.The family-owned company, based in Market Rasen, is run by Hugh Bourne,47. In 2002-03 the company made £4.4m profit on £16.7m sales.On these figures the business is easily worth £32m. It is owned by Bourn and his family.

Stephen Daubney 92

Woodford Industries £32m Woodford Group is a fast-growing operation that buys contaminated land, using its team of engineers and scientists to clean it by removing harmful chemicals in the ground.The usable land is then sold on by the Bolton-based operation to the big house builders such as Miller Homes and Bellway.Woodford was founded in 1993 by Stephen Daubney, 43, who owns all the shares in the business. In the year to February 2003, it increased profits sharply to £3.27m and is easily worth £32m.

Duncan Fletcher & Family 93

Forth Holdings £32m Forth Holdings, a Stirling-based electrical contractor saw its profits rise to £4.5m on £72m sales in the year to August 2003. The business, which provides data communications and facilities management services to the engineering and construction industries, is 95 per cent owned by Fletcher, 62, and his family.We value the company at £32m this year adding £2m for past salaries and other assets.

Eric Wright 94

Eric Wright Group £32m Eric Wright, 67, runs the Eric Wright Group, a Preston property to construction business. In recent years he has been involved in some high profile commercial developments in the north-west including extending the freight terminal at Preston airport.Wright owns just over half of the Eric Wright Group's parent, Henmead.The rest is owned by a charitable trust. The group is worth perhaps £60m on the back of £5m profit and sales of £105m in 2002.

It has £45m of net assets.Other assets add £2m.

Fred Story & Family 95

Story Construction £31m Former rugby forward Fred Story, 47, founded Story Construction in 1988.The Carlisle-based civil engineering and house building group is one of the fastest growing companies in the sector having expanded from civil engineering into house building. It also has a railway engineering division. In 2002-03, it made £4.9m profit on £30m sales.We value the company and the Story family - as owners of all the shares - at £31m on these figures.

Glyn Watkin Jones & Family 96

Newmark Holdings £31m Glyn Watkin Jones, 59, runs a number of building companies in Bangor, North Wales.

He has done well from building supermarkets across Wales and is also reckoned to be busy in Ireland. His main company, Towerloom made £3.4m profit on £62.4m sales in the year to September 2003. It is worth perhaps £24m on these figures, but we add another £7m for other assets including past salaries and other businesses such as Heritage Holdings (North Wales) - with £6.4m of net assets - to the wider Watkin Jones family.

John Knight & Family 97

Knight Developments £30m Knight Developments is a Colchester developer of upmarket homes that has won a string of awards. It was founded 30 years ago and is 70 per cent owned by one of its directors John Knight, 57. In 2002-03, the company made £2m profit on £23m sales and should be worth £14m on these fign See page 36 ures, valuing Knight's stake at around £10m. His family also own the separate JL Knight Roadworks, an £18m company on the back of £2.7m profit and £26.5m sales in 2002-03.With other smaller stakes, the Knight family is worth £30m.

Peter Livesey & Family 98

PJ Livesey Group £30m The PJ Livesey Group has developed a reputation for converting old buildings into stunning homes throughout the north.

Run by its managing director, Peter Livesey, 56, the Manchester-based operation made £3.9m profit on £25.6m sales in the year to June 2003. It is easily worth £30m on these figures.The Livesey family and trusts own all the shares and we value the family at £30m.

Tim Sargeant & Family 99

Construction £30m Tim Sargeant, 38, and his family are not your run-of-the-mill builders.They own two main construction groups, City & Country Residential and City & Country Group, based in Bishop's Stortford and Stansted respectively, but have made their millions taking on ambitious restoration projects on stately homes and ancient estates.

Nor are they your average millionaires: 12 members of the Sargeant clan, including Tim, his younger brother Dave and their families, and their parents, are currently camping out in their latest grand venture - a crumbling priory in Essex.Younger brother Andy will soon inhabit the 18th century clock tower on the vast property. Previous projects include conversions of Cheverells in Markyate, Gilston Park House in Gilston and Astwick Manor in Hatfield, all in Hertfordshire.The Sargeant family has done pretty well financially, however. Between them the two family groups made £3.3m profit on £23m sales in 2002-03.The Sargeant family is worth at least £30m.

John Ward & Family 100

Frontline Construction £30m Frontline Construction, a West Lothianbased civil engineering to groundwork contractor is owned by its managing director John Ward, 56. In the year to January 2003, it made a healthy £3.8m profit on £18m sales. It is easily worth £30m.

Ray O'Rourke & Family 9

Laing O'Rourke £205m Known as the 'tough guy' in Britain's toughest industry, Irishborn O'Rourke, 57, founded his construction business in 1978.He will go down in industry history as the man who bought Laing Construction for £1 in 2001. In the year to March 2003, parent company, newly renamed Laing O'Rourke, made £44m profit on sales of £1.25 billion. It is now working on Heathrow's Terminal 5 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link to London.

But cautiously we reckon the Essexbased operation is worth £250m, valuing the O'Rourke family stake at perhaps £200m.Other assets take the family to £205m.

Martin Ainscough & Family 39

Ainscough Crane Hire £73m Martin Ainscough, 52, is the son of the founder of Ainscough Crane Hire, a Wigan-based mobile crane hirer. He is MD of the business, which is 99 per cent owned by family trusts.With 600 mobile cranes and 25 depots across Britain Ainscough Crane Hire reckons to be the largest crane hirer in Britain. In December 2002, the company bought Baldwins mobile crane fleet. In the year to May 2003, it made £8.9m profit on £66.6m sales. It is worth £67m. A separate property and engineering company add another £6m. In all we value the Ainscough family at £73m.

Stefanos & Stelio Stefanou 42

Construction £66m The Stefanou brothers are nothing if not driven. Stefanos Stefanou, 62, above, owns and runs John Doyle Group, a building and property group based in Hertfordshire. In 2002, John Doyle made £4.8m profit on £137.8m sales.

The company has a strong balance sheet and is worth perhaps £40m.Stelio Stefanou,51, right, runs and has an 85 per cent stake in the separate Accord plc, a facilities management company demerged from John Doyle in 1999. Accord's activities range from buying paper clips for schools in Essex to cleaning the streets of Haringey, north London.The rapidly growing business is worth around £31m on the back of £2m profit and £30.8m net assets in 2003. In all we value the Stefanous - who were born to Greek Cypriot parents in Egypt and came to Britain as children - at £66m.

Tony Pidgley 65

The Berkeley Group £45m Recent moves by Berkeley to scale back its traditional house building and focus on redeveloping brownfield sites have prompted City fears that the long-running house building boom is at an end.That the City took note is due in part to Tony Pidgley's reputation for calling the market. A shrewd operator, he sold Berkeley's land bank at the top of the market in the early 1990s and put £20m in the bank while the rest of the industry struggled.He later cherry-picked the best sites back for a fraction of their price as recession struck. Pidgley, 56, has an £18m stake in Berkeley, which he floated on the stock market in 1984. Over the last two years, his salaries, share sales and dividends have totalled nearly £16m.With other assets, we reckon that the former Barnardo's boy is worth £45m.The special dividends should make him much richer.

By 2010 he will have received around £24m if all goes to plan.

James Boot & Family 78

Henry Boot & Sons £35m Henry Boot was a jobbing builder when he set up a construction company in 1886.A century later, Henry Boot & Sons remains in family control, with Jamie Boot, 52, as managing director of the Sheffield-based company.The Boot family have around a third of the shares either directly or in trust.That stake is worth around £29m.With other assets, the family are worth £35m.

Angela Yeoman & Family 73

Foster Yeoman £40m Angela Yeoman, 73, chairs Foster Yeoman, the Shepton Mallet quarrying company founded by her late husband.

The business is at least 60 per cent owned by the Yeoman family and is worth £65m on the back of £7.3m profit and sales of £211m in 2002-03. That values the family stake at £39m.We add £1m for other assets.

Pat & Penny Fitzpatrick 59

Fitzpatrick £48m Quoting John Paul Getty in his annual report, Pat Fitzpatrick, 76, noted that great fortunes have been made by people who do something exceptionally well and stick to it.The founder and chairman of Fitzpatrick, a family-owned construction group based in Hoddesdon, is doing just that.His daughter, Penny,45, is helping run the business.Now it is a leading contractor for large industrial projects which has pushed up margins and turnover to record levels. In 2002, Fitzpatrick made £6.1m profit on sales of £262m. International construction, property and the Fitzpatrick ready mix concrete operations have been moved into a separate company to allow the business to be more focused.The Fitzpatricks may not be able to match the Getty billions, but having recently sold the company to Dutch contractor, Volkerwessels, for around £50m, they are not doing too badly.We value the pair at around £48m.

Kevin & Dermot Clancy 84

Clancy Group £34m The Clancy brothers - Kevin, 54, right, and Dermot, 52 - are joint managing directors of the newly formed Clancy Group, a Middlesex-based construction group, which saw its profits rise from £2.1m to £2.5m on £125.5m sales in the year to March 2003. It does have solid net assets of £28.4m and we value the business on that figure.The Clancy family has other assets such as a stake in London Irish, the rugby club, and is worth at least £34m.

Jeremy Pilkington & Family 78

VP£35m Since 1979, Jeremy Pilkington, 53, has been chairman and chief executive of VP, a quoted plant hire business.His family own 51.3 per cent of the Harrogate-based company through Ackers P.

Investment Co.The Pilkington family stake is valued at £31.3m.Other assets and past dividends take them to £35m.

Rules of engagement:

1.The valuations are based on the share price of quoted companies as at 21 June 2004.

For private companies we have looked at their latest accounts and multiplied the posttax profit figure by nine (the ratio given in The Financial Times at the time) to arrive at a company valuation.

2.But we have also been influenced by levels of borrowings, the strength of the balance sheet and the like in arriving at our figures.Where private companies pay large salaries to their owner directors'we have added a proportion of the salary to our profit calculation.

3.We have counted family trusts as part of family shareholding in making our assessments of company ownership.

4.Inevitably, we will have missed people who feel they should have been included.We ask them to send in their details for next year to philipberesford@aol. com. All our calculations for valuations are ballpark figures, which may be challenged by those listed.

But we have tried to follow the industry norm prevailing and in the case of many private companies, it is generally accepted that their profits are somewhat understated (quite legitimately) to minimise their tax liability.We will adjust valuations next year for any who feel that we have been too wide of the mark.