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  1. Wealth
July 25, 2016

Duncan Bannatyne net worth

By Suren Prasad

Scottish businessman and ‘oldest dragon’, Duncan Bannatyne has a reported net worth of £175 million.

Bannatyne was born to Jean and William Bannatyne on February 2, 1949 in Dalmuir, Scotland. A Japanese prisoner of war during World War II, his father later worked in the Singer foundry at Clydebank. His mother worked in an ammunitions factory and also worked as a cleaner.

What inspired Bannatyne to become a business mogul?

While a student at Clydebank High School, the interest to buy his own bike motivated him to sell newspapers.
After a stint of tractor repairing, he took up odd jobs on the island of Jersey in 1974, where he met Gail Brodie. They married in 1983 (which lasted till 1994) and had four girls.

Sans a bank account until the age of 30, he worked round-the-clock and bought an ice cream van for £450. This slowly became a fleet generating a £300,000 turnover for Duncan’s Super Ices, through which he procured cheap houses for £10,000 each and rented them out, according to

In 1985, he sold his gelato enterprise for £28,000 and started a chain of nursing homes called Quality Care Homes, which after a successful run was sold in 1996, along with a children’s nursery chain, Just Learning, for £46 million and £12 million respectively, as mentioned in Wikipedia. In 1992, he fell in love with Joanne McCue, his nursing home chain manager.

The formidable businessman expanded Bannatyne’s Health Clubs chain during 1997 to 2005, investing $32 million, alongside hotels, bars and other property. Around this time he and Joanne had a girl and a boy. He bought a £750,000 house in 2004 for her in Wynyard Park estate near Billingham.

In August 2006, he bought 26 health clubs from Hilton Hotels for £92 million as claimed by Wikipedia on a loan taken from the erstwhile Anglo-Irish bank. His current woes include this debt, now escalated to £122 million. Bannatyne insisted that this was company debt, and the company had £230 million in assets, reports In the same year, he married Joanne. October 2008 saw him unveil the Bannatyne Spa Hotel, costing £12 million, in Hastings. Somerset’s Charlton House Hotel and Spa was added in May 2010.

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Bannatyne also made headlines as a columnist for the UK’s largest monthly business magazine Business Matters in December 2009.

In 2011, the Sunday Times Rich List put his fortune at £430 million, which plummeted to £85 million following his bitter divorce to Joanne. His fitness chain too showed a loss of £16.2 million in 2011. His interview in the DailyMail cited that his divorce settlement staggered him with a £345 million wallop making him forego his villa in Cannes and a flat in London. As of 2014, the Sunday Times Rich List estimates his fortune at £175 million.

One of the ‘original dragons’ since first appearing in 2005, the 65-year-old has invested £1,987,500 on Dragons’ Den to date, as per the show’s website. The 12th series of this BBC Two show is going to be his last.

Bannatyne, whose prized possession is a log cabin on Lake Windermere, considers Peter Moule’s Choc Box as his most fulfilling venture on Dragons’ Den.

The Bannatyne Charitable Trust was established in March 2008, with his personal contribution amounting to £1,000,000, as per He is a Unicef ambassador and was awarded an OBE for his numerous charities (61).

He has also written seven books.

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