Graham Kirkham’s profile picture

Graham Kirkham

Graham Kirkham’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: $1 Billion
BirthDay: 14 December 1944
Sigh: Capricorn
Children: 2
BIOGRAPHY

Graham Kirkham was bornon 14 December 1944 in United Kingdom. Graham Kirkham, new to the list this year, created a fortune from furniture. The only son of a Yorkshire coal miner started with a job in a local furniture store. In 1969, at 25, he believed making furniture was relatively easy and by cutting out the warehouse dealers in the middle of the furniture supply chain he could sell direct to the public at cheaper prices. He rented a room above a snooker hall in Doncaster and began making furniture upstairs and selling it downstairs. The business, Northern Upholstery, became DFS and was floated on the London stock market in 1993. In 2004 he took the business private, and sold it to private equity firm Advent International in 2010. More recently, in 2012, Kirkham helped to fund his friend Malcolm Walker's $ 2.4 billion takeover of The Iceland food group and has invested in a fish and chip shop chain. A strong financial supporter of the Conservative Party, Kirkham was made a life peer as Baron Kirkham of Old Cantley in 1999 and sits in the House of Lords. He also is a serious art collector.

NET WORTH STATISTIC
2014

$1 Billion

2018

$1 Billion

TIMELINE
2010

"On 23 April 2010, it was announced that DFS had been sold to private equity firm Advent International for a reported £500m

2008

In court in December 2008, Kirkham denied the charges, and claimed that while he was "not proud" of what had happened, it was he who had been the victim of a road rage attack

2001

Lord Kirkham was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 2001 Birthday Honours

2000

In 2000 DFS announced a 79 per cent profit increase

1999

On 23 July 1999, Kirkham was made a life peer as Baron Kirkham, of Old Cantley in the County of South Yorkshire

1998

Neighbours have complained about both a wall Kirkham built to protect his privacy, as well as the noise from a 1998 fireworks party at which the singer was Elaine Paige

1997

In 1997 Kirkham lent works by Édouard Manet and Orazio Gentileschi to the Getty Center in Brentwood, Los Angeles

1996

In September 1996 Kirkham told The Daily Telegraph that his donations were not "anything at all like that sort of magnitude", and that the £4m had in fact been a loan to the party from his son Michael which was repaid a few weeks later

1995

He has been a Kennel Club member since 1995 and while he owned DFS, it was the main sponsor of Crufts for its show in 2010

1994

Kirkham gave £200,000 to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex's Ardent TV company in 1994 because he had "a burning desire to succeed"

1993

In 1993, DFS was floated on the stock market and valued at £271 million, with Kirkham and his family trusts owning just over half of the shares

1990

Kirkham has two houses in his native South Yorkshire, one in Cadeby Road, Sprotborough; and Grade II*-listed Georgian mansion Cantley Hall which he bought in 1990 from motor dealer John Carnell

1983

By 1983, Darley Dale–based Direct Furnishing Supplies had become one of Northern Upholstery biggest suppliers

1969

In 1969, having visited a few manufacturers in his daily work, he decided that making furniture was relatively easy and that by cutting out the warehouse dealers in the middle of the supply chain, he could sell direct to the public at cheaper prices

1967

"After passing the Eleven plus exam, he attended Maltby Grammar School (since 1967 called Maltby Comprehensive School) and hoped to join the Royal Air Force as a pilot

1944

Graham Kirkham, Baron Kirkham, CVO (born 14 December 1944), is an English businessman, the founder and chairman of sofa retailer DFS

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