British billionaire David Barlcay, the co-founder of a business empire that includes retail, newspapers and some of the world’s most prominent hotels, has died at the age of 86.
Barclay died after a short illness, according to Bloomberg News.
Between ownership of The Telegraph, the Ritz Hotel in London’s Mayfair district and other real estate investments, Barclay and his twin brother Frederick are among the richest executives in the U.K. Their net worth is estimated at $4.3 billion, according to Forbes.
“It was a great journey in everything that we did, the good, the bad, the ugly,“ Frederick Barclay said in a statement. “We experienced it from being bombed out of our beds in Coventry to the deals that we made and the ones that got away.“
The brothers, who were born 10 minutes apart, started out in the 1960s by transforming old boarding houses into small hotels. They later expanded their empire with acquisitions of prominent London properties like the Ritz — which they sold in 2020 to a Qatari investor — and a stake in the hotel group that operated Claridges and the Connaught. They sold that stake in 2015.
The brothers also own Telegraph Group, the media company that publishes the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator, according to Bloomberg.
Despite their growth, the business largely remained a family affair, with the exception of a lawsuit that thrust the family into the spotlight.
”We were twins from the beginning until the end,” Frederick said in the statement. “He was the right hand to my left and I was his left hand to his right. We’ll meet again.”
[Bloomberg] — Sasha Jones