LEN AINSWORTH & FAMILY
- $1.09 billion
- LAST YEAR: $838 MILLION
- INVESTMENT, MANUFACTURING (GAMING MACHINES)
- 88. MARRIED TWICE, SEVEN CHILDREN
Len Ainsworth founded Aristocrat Leisure in the 1950s, converting what had been his father’s dental equipment factory into a poker machine manufacturing plant. He went into a brief retirement in the mid-1990s, following a cancer diagnosis, and distributed the company to his seven children on the proviso that they gave him back half the proceeds if they sold the shares; one son objected to the caveat and the matter ended up in court. But by 1999 his cancer was in remission and he was back in business, setting up Ainsworth Gaming Technology, a small but direct competitor to his children at Aristocrat Leisure. It was listed on the Australian sharemarket in 2001. (The patriarch’s net worth is about one-quarter of his family’s overall value.) Apart from maintaining their stake in Aristocrat Leisure, Ainsworth’s seven sons have pursued other interests: Simon owns the Eden homewares and garden stores; Stephen, Geoffrey, Paul, Kjerulf and Harold have all invested significantly in real estate, while Christian owns a backpacker hotel in Cairns.