SIR DAVID ROWAT BARCLAY and SIR FREDERICK HUGH BARCLAY (both born 27 October 1934), commonly referred to as the "BARCLAY BROTHERS" or "BARCLAY TWINS", are British businessmen . The identical twin brothers have very substantial business interests primarily in media, retail and property. The Sunday Times Rich List of 2017 estimated their wealth at £7.2 billion. They have earned a reputation for avoiding publicity, and are often described as reclusive.
Sir David's son, Aidan, manages their UK businesses. Their businesses
have been accused of tax avoidance , by placing assets under ownership
of companies registered abroad and controlled through trusts. Their
Press Holdings company owns The Business and
* 1 Biography
* 2 Business interests
* 2.1 Shipping
* 2.1.1 Ellerman Lines
* 2.2 Retail
* 2.3 Newspapers
* 3 Controversies
* 4 References * 5 External links
The Barclay brothers were born within ten minutes of each other in
County of London
In 1955 David married Zoe Newton, a grammar school girl who trained as a ballet dancer, at St John the Baptist Church, Holland Road, Kensington . Despite standing only 4'11" (1.5 metres), Zoe Barclay pursued a modelling career and became the most photographed and highly paid model of her time, appearing on the front of popular magazines such as Picturegoer . She appeared on television and in the Dairy Council advertisements as the “drinka pinta milka day“ girl.
By the end of the 1950s, the brothers were running Candy Corner, a
tobacconists and confectioners on the edge of Kensington. However, in
November 1960 the business folded when Frederick and Douglas were
made bankrupt at the High Court after their landlord seized the shop
because they were in breach of the terms of the lease. A notice in
Meanwhile, David was registered as a director of Hillgate Estate Agents in 1962, with his wife Zoe as a co-director (she had given up her modelling career to concentrate on her young sons, Aidan, Howard and Duncan). By 1968, however, Frederick was running the family businesses, replacing Zoe on the Hillgate board. He had obtained the discharge of his bankruptcy after David stepped in and paid the creditors. During this time they redeveloped old boarding houses in London, and made them into hotels.
Between 1968 and 1974, the twins received increasingly large loans from the Crown Agents , a government agency designed to help the colonies and developing countries do business in Britain. In 1970 they bought Gestplan Hotels — which operated the exclusive Londonderry House Hotel in Park Lane — from a group of Lebanese bankers. The property crash in late 1973 brought an end to the Crown Agents, and their debts were sold on at a fraction of the original price. In the mid-1970s Frederick met and married Hiroko Asada , née Kuzusaka, a familiar figure among Japanese society in London; she had a son from her previous marriage, Ko Asada.
From the late 1960s onwards the Barclay brothers continued to build
up stakes in a variety of businesses, including breweries and casinos.
In 1975, they bought the Howard Hotel, overlooking the Thames at
Temple Place . In 1983 they bought Ellerman , the brewing and shipping
group for £45m. They later sold its brewing division for £240m. They
used the proceeds to buy the Ritz Hotel in London's
In 2004, they were listed in 42nd place with an estimate of £750m on the Sunday Times Rich List , and in 2006, they were ranked 24th with a value of £1,800m. The Barclay brothers' fortune has shot up from £1bn in 2009 to £1.8bn in 2010. In 2012, they topped the Media Rich List with £2.25bn.
In 1983, the brothers purchased Ellerman , the brewing and shipping group for £45m. They later sold its brewing division (for £240m), and in late 1985 its shipping business (to its management). The Ellerman deal helped Barclays develop the strategy of buying companies, breaking them up and profiting from the real estate. The technique of approaching an insider in order to obtain an advantage also set a precedent for later deals: the Barclays approached the Ellerman non-executive chairman, David Scott, at a secret meeting in Monte Carlo. Scott recalled in his memoirs that David Barclay requested an exclusive option to buy the firm – and to keep it secret from all but two directors – in return for a promise that Scott would stay on as non-executive chairman. However moments after signing the sale document, Scott was handed a letter (by the Barclays' lawyer) demanding his immediate resignation on grounds that he had been indiscreet about the offer.
In 2002, the brothers purchased the
Two years after the brothers' acquisition of
In 1995 they bought
In 1998 they relaunched
The Telegraph Media Group
In July 2004, they bought The Telegraph Group (now Telegraph Media
Group ), which includes
The Daily Telegraph
The brothers' period as newspaper proprietors has been more
tumultuous than their property interests. At the Telegraph Group,
Murdoch MacLennan made over 100 journalists redundant in 2006,
National Union of Journalists to consider strike action.
The Sunday Telegraph editor
Dominic Lawson was sacked and replaced by
Sarah Sands in June 2005, but she lasted just nine months. Patience
TAX EXILE ACCUSATION
The Guardian has stated that the brothers are tax exiles , and
although they reside, at least some of the time, in Monaco (giving
Avenue de Grande Bretagne, Monte Carlo as their address) they operate
their businesses from an office in the United Kingdom. When asked if
he was a tax exile, Sir Frederick stated that he lived abroad for
health reasons. The corporate tax arrangements of the Ritz Hotel ,
which was purchased and refurbished by the brothers in 1995, was the
subject of a December 2012 investigation by
SARK AND BRECQHOU DISPUTES
The Barclay Brothers' castle,
In 1993, the Barclay brothers bought the tenement of the island of
In the mid-1990s, the brothers petitioned the European Court of Human
In 2008 (partially due to legal activity by the Barclay brothers ),
On 11 December 2008, the Barclay brothers were in the news for
pulling out their investments (which included hotels) from the island
of Sark, causing 170 staff to be made redundant, after local voters
did not support candidates championed by the Barclay brothers. The
brothers had previously warned that if the voters chose to bring back
After the 2008 election, the brothers claimed that the presence of
two unelected figures on Sark's government – the seigneur and the
seneschal, the local judge - was unjustifiable. They took their fight
to the supreme court, arguing that the two roles break human rights
laws that protect the rights of citizens to elect lawmakers. Their
challenge was dismissed, but the Barclays said they would continue to
fight, taking their case to the
European Court of Human Rights
On 28 March 2012,
* ^ "Piers Morgan On Monte Carlo". Youtube.com. 3 April 2011.
Retrieved 15 January 2014.
* ^ A B Robinson, James (14 December 2008). "The raiders of the
lost Sark". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
* ^ "The UK\'s richest 1,000". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 7 August
* ^ The Telegraph Press office
* ^ Barclay Brothers\' profile, timesonline.co.uk
* ^ A B C "Secret Behind Barclay\'s Passion", timesonline.co.uk
* ^ "Barclay brothers come out of purdah with biography", The
Sunday Times, 3 August 2003.
* ^ "
Picturegoer – 1957". Picturegoer.net. Archived from the
original on 13 April 2001. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
* ^ "Milk Bottle Museum", The Birmingham Post (archived at
* ^ "The Time – Bankrupt Brother". Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved
15 January 2014.
* ^ "Barclay twins knighted in \'double dubbing\'", The Telegraph,
1 November 2000.
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