Thursday 14 December 2017

One of the country's best-known and most successful businessmen, Michael Smurfit turned a small cardboard box firm into the global giant that became Smurfit Kappa.

In 2002, he earned 230m for his 7.5pc stake when US firm Madison Dearborn acquired it for 3.8bn. He later spent 55m to buy 4.29pc of the private company back before it returned to the stock market in 2007, and he later made money again selling that stake.

In the past year, he banked an estimated 62m from his stake in his brother Dermot's firm Powerflute, which was bought by a familiar name, Madison Dearborn. He also invests in start-ups, including Offaly-based farm tech start-up MooCall.

Last August, for his 80th birthday, he brought 100 close friends, family and VIPs on a super-yacht voyage lasting a week from Venice to Corfu via Dubrovnik, Hvar and Montenegro.

Among his most prized possessions is a 50m yacht called the Lady Ann Magee, as well as an art collection worth a similar amount, and several properties.

The Monaco-based golfing fan and bon viveur paid 115m to buy The K Club with developer Gerry Gannon during the boom, but later had to wrest control of it from Nama by buying Gannon's stake. A stunning home in Marbella owned by Smurfit — Casa Loriana — has gone on the market for 80m and comes with a private beach and a mooring for a yacht.

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