The Earl of Iveagh and the Guinness family
Ned Guinness, the Earl of Iveagh, is thought to grow 10% of all the onions eaten in the UK at his 22,000-acre Elveden estate in Suffolk. A direct descendant of Arthur Guinness, the man who invented the world-famous black stout back in 1759, the Co Kildare-born earl moved to Britain in 1991, inheriting his title and about £62m in Guinness shares a year later. He is not listed on the share register of Diageo, the drinks giant that owns Guinness, but we assume the wider family stake in Diageo may now be worth £230m after a good run over the past year. The family has £50m of net assets in two businesses, Elveden Farms and the Burhill Estates Company (up £6m in total), while in Canada its British Pacific Properties still owns about 2,400 acres, valued at £30m in 1992. The remaining stake in the Canadian operation is now worth perhaps £400m, with another £100m for past sales. Other interests take Guinness, 47, and his family to £890m.