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Five Scots among top entrepreneurs

FIVE Scots have been named as among the UK's top entrepreneurs in a list released today.

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Duncan Bannatyne, 53, who made his fortune in fitness centres and appears on TV in Dragon's Den, is placed at number 14 in the list of 100 produced by business publication Management Today.

The others are David Murray, of Murray International, at number 25; Shaf Rasul, E-Net Computers, 35th; Sir Arnold Clark, Arnold Clark Automobiles, 54th; and Stewart Milne, Stewart Milne Group, 83rd.

The top spot went to Jim Ratcliffe, who built a vast manufacturing empire by clinching a deal for BP's chemicals operation.

The 53-year-old, whose personal wealth is estimated at [GBP]1bn, beat off competition from private equity firms to buy BP's Innovene chemicals business for [GBP]5bn last year.

His firm is now the UK's second-largest chemicals company, employing 15,500 people in 14 countries and making profits of almost [GBP]1bn a year.

Compiling its annual list of the country's top 100 entrepreneurs, Management Today described Mr Ratcliffe as "the chemical industry's answer to steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal".

Mr Ratcliffe came in at number one ahead of businessman Patrick McKenna, founder of entertainment consultancy Ingenious Media. Mr McKenna's firm recently advised Supernanny producer Ricochet on its sale to another producer.

Simon Nixon, founder of personal finance website Moneysupermarket. com, came in at number three after profits soared from [GBP]2.4m to [GBP]15.9m.

Seven fashion entrepreneurs appeared on the list, including Monsoon founder Peter Simon at number 41 and LK Bennett's Linda Bennett at 51.

Also on the high street, Charles Dunstone appeared at 27, less than a month after Carphone Warehouse announced it was spending up to [GBP]154m on acquiring Onetel.

The youngest entrepreneur to make the list was 27-year-old Thomas O'Donohoe of MX Telecom, while the oldest was veteran car dealer Sir Arnold Clark, 78.

Management Today editor Matthew Gwyther said: "The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the UK, as demonstrated by the continued strong growth of the companies featured in the MT Top 100 list.

"Even more encouraging is that these entrepreneurs are now succeeding regardless of age, creed, nationality or background."

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