Topshop owner Sir Philip Green has lost his status as a billionaire as the former king of the high street sees his fortune halved, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Green’s wealth has been estimated at 950 million pounds, down from 4.9 billion pounds in 2007. This is the first time in 17 years that Sir Philip has not been listed as a billionaire.
The list, which estimates the 1,000 richest people in the UK, is based on identifiable wealth including land, property, other assets such as art, and shares in companies, the Sunday Times says. It does not include the amount contained in people's bank accounts.
Green ranks as 156 on the list, down from 66. According to the Guardian, the compilers of the list described Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, as “worthless” due to huge debts. The couple’s stake in the business had been valued at 750m pounds last year.
Robert Watts, the list’s compiler, said: “Sir Philip Green may have clung on to his knighthood, but we can no longer justify his status as one of the UK’s billionaires. This is the first time since 2002 he has not been in that top tier of the UK’s super-rich individuals.”
"On the face of it this looks like a bumper year for the super-rich, with record wealth, more billionaires and the entry level rising to 120m pounds,” Watts added. "But many of the rich are nursing big losses after a year of turbulence on the stock market and political deadlock in Westminster. Technology is making and breaking fortunes. We are finding young entrepreneurs making vast sums of money from online fashion retail, dating apps and creating YouTube videos.”
He added that online shopping "continues to have a profound effect" on UK high streets, adding that well known retailers "are seeing their fortunes smashed by this seismic change".
Article source: BBC News, The Guardian