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Stephen Rubin and family
Sportswear
Rank 2017
52
Worth
£2,300m
Rise/fall
£540m
Rubin, 79, runs the sportswear company Pentland, which has a number of high-profile labels including Speedo, Berghaus, Ellesse, Mitre and Kickers. The London-based group also owns the exclusive worldwide footwear licence for the Lacoste brand and holds a stake in JD Sports – now worth £1.7bn.
   In 2007 Pentland took a stake in Hunter Boots. Five years later Searchlight Capital Partners became the majority owner, but Rubin’s company still owns about a quarter of the wellington maker. A lawyer by training and a Liberal parliamentary candidate in the 1959 general election, Rubin took over the family shoe business founded by his father 10 years later. His coup was to buy a 55.5% stake in the then fledgling Reebok sports shoe group in 1981 for £50,000. A decade later he sold the holding for £400m.
   In 1999, after a patchy profits record, and facing criticism from the City, Rubin took Pentland private. The group’s profits came in at £185m on £2.4bn sales in 2015. With £621m net assets it should normally be worth £1.7bn, but the strong performance of JD Sports’ share price in recent months means we value it at £2.24bn. The business is still owned by Rubin and his family trusts. Other interests add £60m.