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Lord Kirkham and family
Furniture, Investment
Rank 2017
118=
Worth
£1,150m
Rise/fall
-
Kirkham, 72, last year launched Fabb Sofas, an upmarket furniture retailer that will compete with DFS, the business he founded in the late 1960s. Having left school at 16 with no O-levels, he set up DFS in a former billiard hall and floated the operation for £450m in 1993. After later taking the company private again, he netted another £400m from subsequent refinancing, dividends and a sale to private equity group Advent. This gave Doncaster-born Kirkham the firepower to fund friend Malcolm Walker's (qv) Iceland takeover in 2012, later selling his 19% stake in the supermarket group to Christo Wiese (qv) for £86m.