The extraordinary rise and rise of Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Fortescue Metals will now probably see the colourful entrepreneur finish the year with the most valuable single stake in an Australian listed company.

Twiggy went past the Lowy family yesterday and despite dropping $131 million this morning when Fortescue shares fell $1.28 to $36.12, his controlling stake is still worth $3.74 billion. Frank Lowy’s 10% stake in Westfield is today worth $3.46 billion.

What about the Packers, you say? Well, their 37% stake in PBL is today worth $5.45 billion but it’s about to be broken into separate gaming and media businesses.

Melbourne-born Rupert Murdoch needs to be mentioned in this context given his family has a $10.4 billion stake in News Corp, but the American citizen now runs a Delaware-incorporated company.

Here’s the latest list of most valuable family investments in Australian companies above $1.5 billion.

Murdoch family

News Corp

$10.4 billion

Packer family


$5.45 billion

Andrew Forrest

Fortescue Metals

$3.74 billion

Lowy family


$3.46 billion

Ainsworth family


$2.1 billion

Wilson family


$1.9 billion

Gerry Harvey

Harvey Norman

$1.76 billion

Terry Peabody

Transpacific Industries

$1.57 billion

The one to watch next week is Platinum Asset Management. If the $5 shares come on at $7 as some are tipping, Kerr Neilson’s remaining stake will be worth $2.43 billion, placing him fifth on the above list.

As for Twiggy, I just can’t believe the valuation is justified and dumped 12 of my remaining shares at $38 yesterday. Then again, I’ve been a mug given this trading record on the stock over the past 12 months:

23 May 2006: buy 80 at $6.60
12 Dec 2006: sell 40 at $12.71
03 Mar 2007: sell 23 at $20.51
17 May 2007: sell 12 at $38.00

Holding on to the lot would have turned a $528 investment into $2,889 this morning, but you shouldn’t complain about making $1,087 in a crazy resources bubble on a $10 billion stock yet to generate its first sale.

Leave something for the next mug but don’t be left holding the baby in a market dominated by unsustainable pass the parcel profits.