Doug Rathbone

Published 24 May 2012 00:01, Updated 24 May 2012 00:24

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DOUG RATHBONE

  • $215 million
  • LAST YEAR:
    $273 MILLION
  • MANUFACTURING (CHEMICALS), INVESTMENT
  • MELBOURNE
  • 66. MARRIED, THREE CHILDREN

The falling share price of Nufarm over the past three years has taken the scythe to the personal wealth of Doug Rathbone, who has been chief executive of the agricultural chemicals company since leading a management buyout in 1973. However, trading in Nufarm has since stabilised and in any case, Rathbone sold a big part of his stake to Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical last May. This year, it’s his privately held Rathbone Wine Group (RWG) that is eating into the wealth of the man behind the weed killer Roundup. It’s no secret that the grape glut has kept the wine industry in the doldrums but Rathbone says this year’s vintage will be “a major vintage of turn-up … the industry’s actually going to be quite short of red wine, which is very good for us and we’re getting offers for bulk wine at four times the price we were selling it.” RWG, comprising Yering Station, Mount Langi Ghiran, Xanadu and Parker Coonawarra Estate, was put on the market in March with a view to securing a sale and leaseback deal.

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