Down-born Rea has built up Aes Engineering into the world's biggest manufacturers of mechanical seals. He owns 60pc of the Rotherham-based firm. With Private equity group 3i taking a 40 per cent stake in the business in 2007, AES is valued at over 120m. He retains 60pc of the business and shared in dividends of 7.2m over the last two years. Last year the company reported profits of 28m.