Graeme Hart Tops New Zealand’s Business Review Rich List Again

Graeme Hart, owner of the world’s second-largest drink-carton maker, retained his position as New Zealand’s richest person, with an estimated NZ$5.5 billion ($4 billion), according to National Business Review’s 2010 Rich List.

Hart’s wealth was unchanged from a year earlier, the Review said. He has topped the list in eight of the past nine years. This year he used Reynolds Group Holdings Inc. to bring together a number of his packaging interests and a New Zealand mill.

Second on the list is the Todd family, with an estimated NZ$2.7 billion, up from NZ$2.6 billion in 2009, through closely held Todd Corp. They have interests in New Zealand’s largest oil and gas fields, as well as in media and coal mining.

Eamon Cleary, who owns Southland dairy farms and commercial property in Queenstown, is worth an estimated NZ$2 billion and ranks third on the list. Lynette Erceg, who sold her late husband Michael’s Independent Distiller Group company in 2006 and has reinvested in wine and property, is fourth with NZ$1.5 billion, the Review said.

Brothers Richard and Christopher Chandler are fifth with a combined fortune of NZ$2.8 billion, the Review said. Their Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based Sovereign Global Investment Ltd. invested in real estate, banking and oil refining before being split between the two in 2006.

The 2010 list includes 150 entrants with a combined wealth of NZ$38 billion, down from NZ$38.7 billion last year.

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