The owner of Perthshire-based Highland Spring remains among Scotland’s wealthiest people, despite his fortune dropping by nearly £50 million in the past year.
Mahdi al-Tajir, who owns the Blackford business, is at number five on this year’s Sunday Times Scottish Rich List.
Despite a drop of £48m in the past year, the 91-year-old’s fortune is valued at £1.6 billion.
Highland Spring sells more than 340 million litres (nearly 75 million gallons) of water a year.
The most recent accounts for the Blackford business show turnover rose to £94.1 million for the year to December 2021.
A decade ago, the tycoon – whose family also owns 20,000 acres of land in Perthshire – topped the Scottish rich list.
This year, that honour goes to Danish businessman Anders Holch Povlsen, whose wealth tops £8.5bn, an increase of £2bn on last year.
The businessman, who is the country’s largest private landowner with 220,000 acres, is at 17th on the UK-wide list.
His wealth stems from the Danish fashion retailer Bestseller, founded by his father, Troels Holch Povlsen, in 1975.
Anders, 50, took over in 2000. He is chief executive and the sole owner of the business, which has had a strong year, increasing profits to £723 million.
He also has a stake in the struggling fast-fashion outfit Asos, which has lost £183 million over the past year.
The 50-year-old has also previously given his financial support to Fife alcohol-free spirit brand Feragaia.
Tayside businesses on Sunday Times Rich List
The list also features the Thomson family, owners of DC Thomson, with a wealth of £1.457bn.
DC Thomson publishes newspapers and magazines. It has also diversified into new media, digital technology, retail and television interests.
The family-firm owns newspapers The Courier and Evening Telegraph in Dundee.
Xplore Dundee owners Sandy and James Easdale have seen their wealth grow by £62m, to £1.425bn.
And the co-founders of Perth-based Stagecoach, Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag, also feature. Their fortune is worth £780m.
The Sunday Times Rich List is the definitive guide to wealth in the UK.
It shows there are 171 billionaires in the UK, down six from 2022.
The Hinduja family have topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the second year in a row with a fortune of £35bn. That is a jump of more than £6 billion from last year.
The combined wealth of the UK billionaires is £683.8bn, up 4.5% on the total wealth of the billionaires in last year’s list.
Overall, the richest 350 people in the UK this year are worth £796.4bn.
‘Golden period for super-rich’ is over
This year’s list shows that a “golden period for the super-rich is over” according to the man who compiles the rich list.
Robert Watts said: “For the first time in 14 years we’ve seen the number of UK billionaires fall.”
“Two years ago we raised concerns about an unsettling boom in the fortunes of the very wealthy that continued unchecked during the political instability around Brexit and the pandemic.
“This is not a crash – but there are household names who have lost vast sums over the past year.
“The bursting of the tech bubble, the end of rock bottom interests and the jitters creeping through the banking industry have all taken their toll.”
Losses for Rich List regulars
UK-wide, a number of Sunday Times Rich List regulars are nursing heavy losses from the bursting of a second tech bubble.
Sir Richard Branson’s wealth has fallen by £1.79bn since last year. That is largely due to the falling share prices of his space tourism and satellite ventures.
Mr Watts added: “The super rich don’t exist in a vacuum. Many small investors lost money in some of their overblown stock market floats.
“Many people also work for their businesses. Financial losses for billionaires can have implications for us all.”