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Net millionaires crash Sunday Times wealthiest Britons list

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The Sunday Times' annual rummage through the bank statements of Britain's most well-off has unearthed some wealthy characters and a new breed sterling tycoons who have made their pile from the Net. Paul Sykes, who saw his £10 million investment in the ISP Planet Online swell to £47 million after it was acquired by Energis for £75 million last year, is estimated to be worth £400 million. He tops the list of Internet millionaires by 182 places and a cool £300 million comfortably beating the twin daughters of the late Robert Maxwell by a long chalk. Christine and Isabel Maxwell, together worth £100 million and ranked joint 227 out of 1000, started the McKinley Group, which was sold to portal Excite for £12 million in 1995. Their real wealth came about earlier this year when their 850,000 shares in Excite netted them around £100 million after the portal was acquired for more than £4 billion by @Home. According to the author of the The Sunday Times' Rich List the rise of the high-tech millionaire is "dominant feature this year". "When the Rich List started in 1989, there were fewer that ten hi-tech tycoons," wrote Philip Beresford in the introduction to this year's report. "This year we have ten Internet multi-millionaires alone," he said. Elsewhere, hi-tech industries accounted for 96 multi-millionaires in the UK -- almost ten per cent of an elite league table worth an estimated £115 billion. ®

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