Australia’s richest 250 in 2024: the manufacturers

Apr 11, 2024 by Mark Dingley

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It’s the list you've been waiting for: The Australian has released its annual list of the country’s richest 250 people.

So who are Australia’s richest manufacturers in 2024? And who’s dropped off “The List” since last year? And what can we learn from manufacturers on this list?

What is the Richest 250 List?

Australia’s Richest 250 is a list published annually by The Australian newspaper.

“The List” is the most extensive annual study of Australia’s 250 wealthiest individuals. The figures are calculated in mid-February each year, and The List is published in March.

Here are some facts about Australia’s Richest 250 in 2024:

  • There is a record 159 billionaires in Australia.
  • This year’s edition featured a record cut-off of $590 million to join the country’s wealthy elite.
  • New entrants include cryptocurrency gambling tycoons, lithium mining magnates and the entrepreneurs behind Chemist Warehouse, Kennard’s Hire and 7-Eleven.
  • Some 33 women appear in the 2024 edition, led by billionaire Gina Rinehart, who is at the top of that section with $50.48 billion.
  • The List now includes 20 people aged 40 or younger, making it the youngest list of billionaires.
  • One sector featured on the list more than any other – property.
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Australian Manufacturers on The List in 2024

In 2024, the first manufacturer is in spot number four, and once again it’s Visy executive chairman and owner of Pratt Industries, Anthony Pratt and his family, with a net worth of $27.66b.

Pratt dropped a spot this year due to Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s official separation. Nicola propelled into the number-two spot with her new separate shareholding in Fortescue

Some familiar faces are on The List, such as Moose Toys’ Manny Stul, and Borg Manufacturing’s John and Michael Borg. There are also some manufacturing newcomers, such as the Blundstone co-owner sisters from Tasmania.

Let's take a closer look at some of Australia's richest manufacturers:

#46. Manny Stul & family, Moose Toys ($2.86bn)

You might remember Manny Stul and his family from last year’s richest manufacturers stories. With $2.86b, the Melbourne-based owners of Moose Toys have risen from #70 to #46 this year.

Stul was in semi-retirement in 2000 when he took over the then-struggling small business. The family has turned it around, and it now boasts an annual revenue of over $1b.

Run by Stul and his family from its headquarters in suburban Melbourne, the global toy sensation has won multiple product and innovation awards worldwide. The business has cracked the world's biggest toy market – the United States. In 2016, Stul became the first Australian to win the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year award. The Australian toy manufacturer recently landed a global deal with YouTube influencer MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson) to co-create an exclusive brand of collectible action figures.

But the company has had its fair share of challenges. In 2007, children became seriously sick when they swallowed beads from the popular Bindeez toy. Unknown to Moose Toys, the Chinese manufacturers of the toy had replaced a non-toxic ingredient with a much cheaper one.

Moose Toys issued a voluntary recall of Bindeez, and the company's best-selling product was removed from every shelf worldwide. Stul was advised to file for liquidation, but they survived thanks to honesty, ethics and smart business.

Image credit: Moose Toys

#73, #74 and #75. John, Marcello & Giuseppe Casella, Casella Family Brands ($1.82 combined)

Casella Wines is the nation’s largest family-run winemaker. The regional NSW business was founded by Maria Casella and her husband Filippo, who migrated from Italy in 1957. It is now run by the late founders’ three sons. Casella Wines shot to fame in 2000 when Yellow Tail wine became a huge international business. They had hoped to sell 25,000 cases that first year—they sold more than one million.

Yellow Tail did what many Australian winemakers cannot do: it cracked the US market, becoming the most imported wine in the USA at one stage. In 2021, it even advertised at the Super Bowl – advertising’s biggest stage (in 2024, the average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad spot was $7m).

Casella's brands also include Peter Lehmann, Baileys of Glenrowan, and Morris of Rutherglen.

Yellow Tail Super Bowl ad. Image credit: Casella Family Brands

#141 Raphael Geminder, Pact Group ($1.09b)

The man known as “Ruffy” is a Melbourne businessman who has made his fortune with his packaging company, Pact Group. Geminder is married to Fiona, whose brother Anthony Pratt is the executive chairman of Visy.

Pact was listed on the ASX in 2013. It raised $649m in fresh capital at $3.80 a share, reaching as high as $7 in early 2017.

However, profits have suffered with surging inflation in raw materials and the substantial investment required to modernise plants and deliver greener products.

The company has focused heavily on sustainability in recent years. In 2023, Geminder signed a strategic partnership with Aldi to supply recycled-plastic packaging for some of the retail giant’s own brand products in Australia, such as milk bottles, meat trays, fruit and vegetable punnets, beverage bottles and shampoo bottles. The company also partners with Woolworths Group to supply recycled packaging for products across Woolworths’ Own Brand range. What’s more, its PET recycling plant in Albury, NSW, is the biggest of its kind in Australia, and can recycle up to 1billion 600ml PET beverage bottles a year.

In late 2023, Geminder offered to buy out the 50% of Pact he did not own in a bid to make Pact Group private. He also has a private investment firm, Kin Group, which owns food brands inclduing Cobs, Green’s and Susan Day.

#217 & #218. Helen Dickinson & Anne Routley, Blundstone ($686m combined)

Helen Dickinson and Anne Routley are new to The List in 2024. Their father, the late Harold Cuthbertson, took over the family’s Blundstone business in 1953 and ran it for 51 years.

Blundstone is a long-standing Australian business. John and Eliza Blundstone began making boots in Hobart in 1870, but after suffering financial difficulties, they sold to the Cain family, who sold to the Cuthbertsons in 1932.

The Tasmanian sisters’ entry onto The List is a testament to the success of the boot-making company. Blundstone Australia sells more than 2.7 million boots a year in 70 countries. It made a net profit of $US32m from $US139m in revenue last year. And, like many other manufacturers on The List, America is its biggest growth market.

Interestingly, its Australian business is predominantly in the work and safety sector, with just 10-15% wearing Blundstone for lifestyle. Whereas internationally, the opposite is true. Case in point: Jake Gyllenhaal wore a pair during an appearance on The Tonight Show in March 2024.

Other Australian manufacturers on the 2024 List.

Image credit: Blundstone