6 (4) Felix Dennis £750m (£710m)
It seems libidos are falling in the lad’s magazine sector on both sides of the Atlantic, which isn’t particularly good news for Felix Dennis’s publishing empire.
Sales of Maxim are down 18 per cent in the UK on top of previous falls. In the US, where sales have not tumbled quite so sharply, Felix Dennis has off-loaded the titles in his Dennis Publishing Inc subsidiary for a reported £120 million.
This includes Maxim, Stuff and Blender which have been bought by private equity fund Quadrangle Capital Partners.
Fortunately for Felix Dennis’s bank balance, his web-based magazines are taking off in a big way with Monkey, his digital men’s magazine launched early in 2007, breaking all records. His motoring magazines, Auto Express and the newly-acquired Octane are also performing well, as is Men’s Fitness.
A new editor - Michael Donlevy - has been appointed at Maxim in the UK to turn things round, with a brief to review the direction of the magazine while building on the success of the website.
There’s still plenty of good news for Felix Dennis, who first came to public attention in 1971 as one of three defendants in the Oz obscenity trials.
His news weekly The Week continues to grow quickly as does its sister publication The Week in the US, which was not included in the sale to Quadrangle. The Week contributes nearly £10 million pounds to Dennis Publishing’s £75 million-plus annual turnover, and is very profitable.
Dennis Publishing - which owns more than 50 titles - was named in The Sunday Times as one of the top 100 best companies to work for the UK, something which will have given the people-centred Felix Dennis much pleasure. Almost as much as the coveted title of "Smokers’ Rights Champion of the Year" an accolade the chain-smoking publisher picked up from smokers’ pressure group FOREST.
Aged 60, Felix Dennis - who lives on an estate in Warwickshire - is an enthusiastic published poet. His anthology - A Glass Half Full - quickly became one of the country’s biggest selling books of original verse and his third book of poetry - launched at the back end of 2006 - was acclaimed as a wicked anthology of poems about 21st century issues.
His other interests include planting trees - he is endeavouring to create the largest forest in England, dubbed the "Forest of Dennis" - drinking fine French wine, cars and sculpture.
He hosts charity events at his Warwickshire home and also owns property in Mustique.