Denis O’Brien is an Irish billionaire. He is the owner and founder of Digicel and Communicorp. He is one of Ireland’s richest native-born citizens, with a net worth of $3.8 billion.
He owns companies with several other interests, including mass media, communications technology, and aerospace. He is the owner of the superyacht NERO.
|NET WORTH||$3.8 BILLION|
|SOURCE OF WEALTH||DIGICEL|
Denis O’Brien’s NETWORTH
O’Brien has a net worth of $3.8 billion, according to Forbes. O’Brien is the owner of the superyacht NERO, which was damaged in a dry-docking accident in 2019.
He has owned 7 Gulfstream jets throughout his lifetime. However, he sold them all in 2019.
O’Brien operated and owned 94% of Digicel. Digicel is a mobile phone network provider in the Caribbean, Asia Pacific, and Central America.
The mobile network company now has 14 million users and is active in 32 countries. The company announced in 2021 that its Pacific operations were to be sold to an Australian company, Telstra Corp, for an estimated $1.6 billion.
O’Brien made his first fortune with Esat Telecom. Michael Lowry, Ireland’s energy and communications minister at the time, helped O’Brien acquire a mobile phone license to start the company.
The Irish billionaire formed the company in 1991 to compete with the state-owned Telecom Eireann. He sold the company in 2000 for $2.8 billion.
O’Brien founded Communicorp in 1989 and started radio channels. Communicorp is now one of the biggest independent radio networks in Ireland and the UK. He sold his stake in the company in 2021.
The businessman has investments in healthcare. He also owns the aircraft company Aergo Capital. He founded Independent News and Media, which was sold in 2019 to the Belgian group Mediahuis.
O’Brien was born in 1958 in Cork, Ireland. He married his wife Catherine Walsh in 1997, and the couple shares four children, Joanne, Abigail, Denis, and Kerry O’Brien.
O’Brien’s sister is the artist Abigail O’Brien, president of the Irish arts body, the Royal Hibernian Academy.
O’Brien resides in Portugal and owns property that includes the Quinta do Lago golf complex. He also has property in Malta.
O’Brien received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2006 from his alma mater, UCD. He was given the Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2019 by the Irish-US Council for enhancing the bonds between Ireland and the US.
O’Brien is an active philanthropist. He established the Iris O’Brien Foundation in 2000. He named the charity after his mother, who coordinates most of the philanthropic efforts.
O’Brien co-founded Front Line Defenders in 2001 to aid in protecting human rights. He also helped establish the Digicel Foundation, which has funded many Caribbean and Pacific projects.
O’Brien has also established a fully funded fellowship for Irish students to receive an MBA degree from Boston College.