Local beef baron Larry Goodman has dropped one place to 21st place in the latest edition of The Sunday Times Rich List which was released this week – but he’s still one place ahead of the country’s biggest ever musical export, U2.
The annual list ranks the 300 richest people, families or groups in Ireland and this year says that Goodman’s family fortune stands at €650m, a decline of last year’s value of €679 million.
Like in 2016, when it comes to money made from the food industry, the wealth of Goodman and his wife Kitty is second only to John Dorrance, the American-Irish billionaire and Campbell’s soup heir. His value is estimated at €2.5 billion. The combined wealth of Ireland’s richest 300 is believed to be at €77 billion. U2 – who Goodman pips in the list – are Ireland’s richest entertainers, worth €645 million.
Goodman’s ABP Group has it’s Irish office on Castle Street in Ardee. The business is thought to have revenues of €3 billion. As well as being one of Europe’s biggest suppliers of beef, it is also a big recycler of vegetable oil and is Europe’s largest supplier of own-label pet food.
The Sunday Times Rich List says that Goodman runs his operations via 118, mostly unlimited, different companies meaning his total worth is difficult to value. It says that the his overall value has recently been hit by the sterling drop.
Five years ago, the Goodman family spent €40 on acquiring the former Bank of Ireland headquarters in Dublin and more recently spent €100 million in renovating it. Son Laurence is known to be involved heavily in property investments. Goodman Snr is a;so the largest investor in private Irish healthcare with stakes in, amongst others, the Hermitage Clinic.
At 21st in the list, Goodman is the sixth highest entrant that has a personal fortune of less than €1 billion, just behind Formula One hospitality chief Paddy McNally.
ABP is the largest privately owned beef processor in Europe and the biggest exporter of beef to continental Europe. In 2015, ABP Foods Group became the first Irish company to secure a deal to sell Irish beef in the United States.
The deal, with US corporation Sysco, was believed to be worth €15 million. As of 2015, the ban on the sale of Irish beef to America was lifted and ABP now supply Sysco Metro New York and Sysco Boston with Irish beef, focusing on steakhouses and restaurants.
That deal came shortly after ABP became the first Irish producer to secure a beef deal with Japan, in a deal worth around €4 million.
The success of ABP group is a testament to Goodman’s own acumen in recovering after the beef business nearly collapsed when UN sanctions were imposed on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq after ABP signed a deal to supply beef to the country in 1990.
Recover it did and Goodman lead ABP’s major expansion globally as they became a major player once again. His son Mark is currently International Commercial Director of the company.