8. (7) David Wilson and Family £730m (£725m)
David Wilson must be thinking he got out of the house-building business in the nick of time. By good fortune or good judgement – it matters not – he disposed of his building interests at the top of the market.
The record-breaking £2.2 billion takeover of Leicestershire-based property group Wilson Bowdon by rivals Barratt Developments put more than £700 into the Wilson family coffers.
Former chairman David Wilson – who together with his family owned 33 per cent of the business – said the deal – the biggest in the housebuilding industry – was the best way forward for the business.
The takeover created the biggest home-builder in Britain, employing 7500 people. This was only the second acquisition by Barratt in 25 years.
Of the £700 million Barratt paid to David Wilson and family holdings, £300 million was paid in cash and the rest in shares.
Wilson Bowden is based in Ibstock in Leicestershire and was formed in 1961. Ten years later David Wilson, now 66, joined the business after graduating from what was then Leicester Polytechnic. At that time the company had a turnover of just £1 million. By 1987 David Wilson was running the company and floated it on the London Stock Exchange. It became among the biggest housebuilding concerns in the country.
He is married with four children and lives in Leicestershire.