Imagine inheriting a multi-million dollar property portfolio from your father and turning it into a billion dollar empire? Well, that's exactly what Sydney hospitality king Justin Hemmes has managed to achieve in the past four years.
Since taking over the Merivale Group in 2015, which includes over 70 venues and brands across the country, Hemmes has helped the company grow into Sydney's most dominant hospitality force, with the 2019 Australian Financial Review Rich List declaring Hemmes Australia's 88th richest person.
This is the first time Hemmes has made the list as a billionaire, with an 11.5% increase in growth over the past year - from AU$951 million to AU$1.06 million - the key factor behind his ascension in the top 100 richest Australians.
The primary catalyst behind this increase in wealth was Merivale taking control of the Royal Hotel in Bondi (purchased for $30 million) and the stylish entertainment complex on George Street (purchased for $80 million) adjacent the Merivale owned property The Ivy.
Couple this with an increased revenue of $50 million over the past 12 months and it's no surprise Hemmes has become the latest Aussie billionaire. Things are going so well that Merivale is even offering 49% off all drinks at Sydney establishments this June.