Some names like Cirque du Soleil and Lululemon will be familiar, others like Jean Coutu less so – at least to English Canadians. Here are ten businesses that made their owners billionaires.
Ronnen Harary and Anton Rabie are worth around $1.64 billion each. They are childhood friends who started their business after graduating from business school. Theirs hit toys began with the Earth buddy, and they have produced many hits, including Hatchimals and the popular kid’s series Paw Patrol.
Aldo Group is a Canadian retailer that owns and operates a worldwide chain of shoe and accessories stores. Aldo Bensadoun founded the company in Montreal, Quebec, where its corporate headquarters remain today. Aldo Bensadoun is worth around $2.03 billion. The group owns many stores across the globe and is now set out to double its yearly sales.
Cirque du Soleil
Guy Laliberté is worth around $2.14 billion and is co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. Laliberté was once a busker and earned money performing circus tricks on the streets of Quebec. Guy Laliberté is also known for being the first Canadian space tourist.
Lululemon’s founder Dennis ”Chip” Wilson, is worth around $2.92 billion. He is a Canadian businessman and philanthropist who has founded several retail apparel companies, notably the yoga-inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica Inc. He is widely considered to be the creator of the athleisure trend.
Magna International’s founder Frank Stronach is worth around $3.06 billion. Apart from Magna International, an international automotive parts company based in Aurora, Ontario, Canada, he also has stakes in Granite Real Estate and Stronach Group, specialising in horse racing.
Jean Coutu is the founder of the drugstore chain of the same name and is worth around $3.2 billion. The company was co-founded in 1969 by Jean Coutu as a pharmacy in the east end of Montreal and has since grown to acquire many other drugstore chains and standalone drugstore companies both in Canada and the U.S.
Alimentation Couche-Tard was founded by current chairman Alain Bouchard and is based in Laval, Quebec, Canada, a suburb of Montreal. Alain Bouchard is worth around $4.13 billion and has transformed the company from a single convenience store to one of Canada’s largest retail businesses.
Jim Pattison Group
James Allen Pattison is the CEO, chairman and sole owner of the Jim Pattison Group, the second-largest privately held company in Canada. His mega empire began taking shape in 1961 when he started a single Pontiac car dealership. He is known for his philanthropy and is always said to give away 10 per cent of his income.
The Azrieli family is jointly said to be worth around $5.83 and is known for its real estate empire. The Azrieli group’s late patriarch David Azrieli established his building business, beginning with the construction of small duplexes In Montreal and working his way up to apartment buildings and later shopping malls.
The Saputo Family is worth around $10.4 billion and is known for its dairy conglomerate. Their company was founded by Giuseppe Saputo and is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world. In the fifties, it began as a small cheese-making company with a $500 investment to buy some basic equipment and a bicycle for deliveries.