Andrew Heathcote Rich Lists editor

Andrew is BRW's Rich lists editor and is responsible for the Rich 200 and Young Rich flagship issues. He also reports on matters relating to wealth and investment for BRW and The Australian Financial Review.

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Dream sale to send fortune of Dreamworld founder John Longhurst soaring

Published 14 February 2013 11:46, Updated 18 February 2013 07:20

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Dream sale to send fortune of Dreamworld founder John Longhurst soaring

Dreamworld, the Gold Coast theme park that sent John Longhurst’s fortune soaring. Photo: Supplied

Long-time BRW Rich 200 member John Longhurst has just had his biggest pay day, after selling his half share in the Logan Hyperdome shopping centre for $350 million.

The reason for the sale to the Queensland Investment Corporation is unknown but it appears an excellent deal for Longhurst.

It will boost his wealth on the Rich 200 from last year’s $370 million to about $470 million when the 30th anniversary edition of the Rich 200 is published in May.

Longhurst is one of only 18 people to have appeared on every issue of the Rich 200. In 1984, his net worth was estimated by BRW at $15 million.

Longhurst, 80, made his first fortune from a lawn mower business, which he started as a 22 year old and sold three years later to Victa for $500,000.

He plied the proceeds of the sale into property development and his projects include the Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld, which he sold in 1989 for a price believed to be between $150 million and $180 million.

Before the latest sale, the Logan Hyperdome was Longhurst’s biggest asset.

The other half share was sold by Longhurst in 1996 for $125 million to the then newly-formed Queensland Investment Corporation. The Logan Hyperdome is reportedly the 35th biggest shopping centre in the country with annual turnover of $462 million.

The Queensland Investment Corporation was set up in 1991 to manage the Queensland government’s investments. It has $69 billion in funds under management.