Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Rich list reveals top property millionaires

Two brothers who are partners in a major Northern Ireland construction business have emerged as the richest property owners in Northern Ireland.

Kevin and Michael Lagan, of Lagan Holdings, are estimated to be worth £350m in the 250-strong rich list for the UK and Ireland compiled by Estates Gazette.

But financial difficulties in the Quinn Group have led to Fermanagh man Sean Quinn and his family vanishing from the list — despite occupying third place with a £2.295bn fortune last year.

The Lagan brothers, who come 46th on the list, trade through Lagan Holdings, Lagan Cement, Kingscourt Bricks, Lagan Homes and Lagan Developments.

Twelve places below the Lagan brothers with an estimated worth of £296m is Sam Morrison, chairman of Corbo Properties. Mr Morrison is the most successful retail tycoon in Northern Ireland and owns a string of retail parks, including Belfast’s Cityside. Corbo recently sold Damolly Retail Park in Newry for £46m, and a property at 48 to 54 Donegall Place for £8.75m.

The company also netted £48m from the sale of Longlands Retail Park in Newtownabbey.

At joint number 67 is Newry entrepreneur Gerard O’Hare with a fortune of £220m. His Parker Green International company owns The Quays Shopping Centre in Newry, a shopping mall in Connecticut and interests in Eastern Europe.

A second pair of brothers, Francis and Shamus Jennings, is at 89 with a fortune of £166m, mainly through the Cusp property group. They recently developed the St Anne’s Square complex in Belfast city centre.

Frank Boyd and family were valued at £160m with joint 93rd place for their interest in companies including Killultagh Estates. They also own William Ewart Properties, formed in 2002 when Mr Boyd and his business partner Andrew Creighton paid £90m for the Northern Ireland and British properties — including Lanyon Place and Windsor House — of southern property group Dunloe Ewart.

Fried chicken has helped Michael Herbert and family to a fortune of £160m and 93rd place. His company, Herbel Restaurants, holds the biggest KFC franchise in Europe.

Andrew Creighton, the business partner of Frank Boyd, is at 126 in the list with a worth of £120m.

At 159, Donegal man Patrick Doherty and family’s Harcourt Developments is worth around £93m. His best-known work is the £700m revamp of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

One place below with a worth of £90m is Lord Rana, who owns the Andras House property and hotel business.

Deramore Properties is the vehicle which has helped Edward Lonergan to a £85m fortune at number 167.

John Miskelly is the last Northern Ireland entry on the list, with a fortune of £60m and a place at 209 on the list. Mr Miskelly owns Belfast’s Ten Square hotel, as well as a nursing home operation and Miskelly Construction.

John Magnier emerges from the list as Ireland’s top commercial property owner, with a worth of £540m and 27th place on the list, published last month. Top of the list is the Duke of Westminster, whose Grosvenor Group has assets worth £6.8bn.

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