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The Cleary Family

The Cleary Family 23
  • Industry Inheritance
  • 2019 Worth €780 m (-2.50%)
  • 2018 Worth €800 m
  • Progress -

Meath farmer Eamon Cleary was one of the wealthiest people in New Zealand when he died at the age of 53 in 2012. He is survived by his wife Catriona and eight children.

He made the move to NZ in the 1990s, just as dairy farming began to boom there, becoming the largest dairy farmer in its Southland region. He then moved into property development, initially in the nearby tourist hub of Queenstown, before expanding into North America, Eastern Europe and Australia. He also bought a stud farm in Kentucky, and is said to have owned telecoms and agricultural businesses in Chile and Argentina.

Estimates differ as to whether he was worth about €1bn - which the New Zealand Business Review suggested - or €2bn. He gave money to Otago University and other money is also believed to have been given to good causes.

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