Lyons (68) worked as an intern at the Harp brewery before moving to Kentucky to make his fortune from one of Harp’s key ingredients — yeast. The Dundalk man owns the fast-growing animal nutrition group Alltech, which has operations in more than 120 countries. Its businesses range from animal feed to Alzheimer’s research, and whiskey to fish farming. Getting a handle on its finances and valuations is difficult.
In an interview with the Sunday Independent, Lyons said that the company was worth "between $2.5bn to $3bn". He owns all the shares.
A close pal of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, Lyons has been looking more at Ireland of late — he is developing a €5m distillery in Dublin’s Liberties, close to St James Church, where his grandfather John was buried in 1948.
Lyons is notoriously energetic, running for an hour at 5am every morning and flying around the world to visit operations on his Bombardier Challenger 604. He told a newspaper that he was Delta Airlines’ number one traveller before buying his own jet.