Ardee based businessman Larry Goodman has stayed put in 22nd place in the Sunday Independent’s Rich List 2018, revealed yesterday, having increased his personal fortune by €40 million over the last 12 months.
The ABP chief sits just behind Ireland’s most famous musical export – U2 – in the annual standings with a fortune estimated by the newspaper to be €820 million. Bono, Larry Mullen, The Edge and Adam Clayton are worth a total of €845 million.
Goodman, 80, is far from being Louth’s richest person – with Altech founder Pearse Lyons, originally from Dundalk, in fifth with a fortune of €3.5 billion. Meanwhile, Glen Dimplex supremo Martin Naughton sits just outside the top ten, in 11th place. His worth is €1.65 billion.
Once again, the Ardee businessman’s wealth is second only to John Dorrance, the American-Irish billionaire and Campbell’s soup heir, when it comes to money made from the food industry. The Sunday Independent Rich List say that Dorrance’s wealth is estimated at €2.75 billion, having risen by €200 million in the last year.
ABP, with offices on Castle Street in Ardee, remains the biggest beef processor in Europe while it is also a big recycler of vegetable oil and is Europe’s largest supplier of own-label pet food. It is here, according to the newspaper, where ABP have enjoyed significant growth of late. It supplies the meat for supermarket own brand products in the UK.
In 2016, ABP Foods Group became the first Irish company to secure a deal to sell Irish beef in the United States while they are also the first Irish producer to secure a beef deal with Japan, in a deal worth around €4 million. It also acquired a 50pc stake in Slaney Meaths last year, boosting their domestic operation. Beef exports were up for the first half of 2017.
In 2017, ABP linked up with respected and popular Men’s Health magazine to provide a new range of foods aimed at the health conscious reader. As well as his beef interests, Goodman – and son Laurence – is involved heavily in property investments with an ever widening portfolio at home and in the UK. The businessman also has shares in the Blackrock Clinic.
It was revealed last month tha the Fianna Fáil administration under Charles Haughey in the 1980s had made amendments to legislation specifically designed to benefit the Ardee businessman and the Goodman International Group. The government voted to change the Finance Act 1986 to exclude the food processing industry from having to pay tax on grants.
It was shown – in confidential cabinet papers released at the end of December under the 30 year rule – that the Goodman organisation was chosen as the hub around which the government had built its development policy for the food industry – including beef, sugar and dairy.