Nicknamed 'The Cooler', Paris-based Paul Coulson (65) saw his 33.5pc stake in bottling and packing firm Ardagh increase massively in value in the lead-up to its IPO in New York last March, although its value has weakened in euro terms. But he could be in line for a €100m windfall as Ardagh raises $350m of debt. The vast group makes everything from Coca-Cola bottles to Budweiser cans.
Over the years, Ardagh has paid huge dividends to Coulson, who sidestepped the financial meltdown which impacted many of his peers. His assets include property on Dublin's Shrewsbury Road, a home in Paris and properties in Portugal. There's also a 164-ft yacht off Sardinia. He's a donor to the private Jesuit school Gonzaga, which has named its theatre after him.