6. Martin Naughton
Martin Naughton, KBE (b. 1940 in Dundalk, County Louth), an Irish / British entrepreneur, founded Glen Electric in August 1973 with a small manufacturing facility employing just ten people in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland. In 1977, Dimplex, the leading brand in the UK electrical heating market was acquired by Glen Electrics forming the Glen Dimplex Group.
The company set out acquiring further businesses across the UK with Morphy Richards, the market leader in small domestic appliances in 1985 followed by Blanella, a manufacturer of electric blankets and Burco Dean Appliances, a manufacturer of products for the catering industry, all in the same year. The 1990s saw the company forge its powers of acquisition and strategic business thinking to acquire further businesses across Europe and beyond. An engineer by profession, Dr. Naughton has overseen his company to become the world’s largest manufacturer in domestic heating appliances. His company has plants in the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and North America.
His business has more than 8000 staff and 22 manufacturing facilities with annual sales of around $1.6 billion. Naughton’s stake in the company is worth around £273 million with other investments including an art collection, property in Dublin and shares in the Merrion Hotel Group and the Sunday Tribune newspaper. He was awarded with an honorary degree (Doctor of Science) for his services to promote business in Northern Ireland.
His estimated net-worth as at 2017 is $1.7 Billion.