Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#160 Galen Weston $8.86B

Random fact: Loblaws bought rival Shoppers Drug Mart for $12 billion in July 2013.

Overview

Weston helped build the Loblaws grocery chain into Canada's largest food retailer. The publicly traded business had revenue of C$46.4 billion ($35 billion) in 2016. He also owns stakes in department stores Selfridges in England and Holt Renfrew in Canada, and runs George Weston, a Toronto-based food processor.

As of Aug. 20, 2017:
Last change -$13.7M (-0.1%)
YTD change +$274M (+3.2%)
Industry Retail
Biggest asset WN CN Equity
Citizenship Canada
Age 76
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Galen Weston's net worth of $8.86B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Weston's fortune is derived from his stake in George Weston Ltd., a publicly traded business that owns the biggest stake in Loblaws, Canada's largest retailer, according to the company website. According to George Weston's 2017 proxy statement, Weston owns about 63 percent of the company directly and through companies he controls.

Weston owns a 3 percent stake in British retailer Associated British Foods. He holds about 5.3 million ABF shares directly and controls almost 19 million shares through London-based Wittington Investments, his family's holding company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Wittington owns 55 percent of ABF. A 2011 document filed in the U.K. showed Weston directly holds 37,953 shares in Wittington, or 4.4 percent. The remainder of Wittington is split with family and the Garfield Weston Foundation, which controls 79.2 percent.

Weston has investments in two closely held department store groups: Fortnum & Mason, and Selfridges, whose European department stores -- Selfridges (U.K.), Brown Thomas (Ireland) and De Bijenkorf (Netherlands) -- disclose revenue to U.K. regulators. Selfridges's Canada stores -- Holt Renfrew, HR2 and Ogilvy -- are valued using the sales per square foot of Hudson's Bay and Nordstrom. They're then valued against publicly traded peers as disclosed in the footnotes in the Net Worth Summary.

Weston founded Windsor, a community in Vero Beach, Florida, in 1989. He has sold about $270 million worth of lots at Windsor through January 2017, according to Indian River County data. His unsold parcels are valued at $56 million from county appraisals. His net cash assets are calculated after taxes and market performance.

He declined to comment on his net worth in December 2015.

Biography

Birthdate: 10/29/1940
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1962, University of Western Ontario/The, Business Administration, Bachelor's Degree

Born in England, in 1940, Weston moved with his family to Canada, where he started to work at the retail business started by his grandfather. He moved to Ireland after college, where he created his own grocery business. There he met his wife, Hilary, an Irish fashion model, with whom he had two children.

At his father's request, he returned to Canada in the 1970s, to turn around the family's struggling supermarket chain, Loblaws. Weston had restructured the company and expanded it into Canada's largest retailer by 1984. He also oversaw the growth of Weston Foods, the bakery and distribution arm of the company.

Weston acquired a clutch of luxury department stores, including Canada's Holt Renfrew in 1984, and U.K.-based Selfridges in 2003. As a trustee of the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, he also oversees his family's charitable giving in the U.K.

Milestones
  • 1940 Galen Weston was born near Buckinghamshire, U.K.
  • 1945 Moves to Canada with family.
  • 1962 Graduates from the University of Western Ontario; moves to Ireland.
  • 1966 Marries Hilary Frayne. They have two children, Alannah and Galen.
  • 1974 Moves back to Canada and expands family's supermarket Loblaws.
  • 2003 Buys Selfridges to add to his holdings of luxury department stores.
  • 2010 Purchases upscale Dutch department store De Bijenkorf.
  • 2014 Son, Galen G. Weston, named CEO of George Weston Ltd.