Stephen Rubin took over the reins at Pentland in 1969 and, 30 years later, took the company private. It now owns famous sports brands such as Speedo, Berghaus and Ellesse. Rubin bought a large stake in Reebok in the early 1980s and cashed it in a decade later for £400m. He is now worth an estimated £292m. The company, which distributes 10 core brands in 183 countries, reported a £50m decrease in sales to £436m in 2001 with an operating profit of only £4m. It had 2,097 staff at the time.
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