Andrew Heathcote Rich Lists editor

Andrew is BRW's Rich lists editor and is responsible for the Rich 200 and Young Rich flagship issues. He also reports on matters relating to wealth and investment for BRW and The Australian Financial Review.

View more articles from Andrew Heathcote

Xero sums game: Craig Winkler charts a BRW Rich 200 comeback

Published 07 March 2013 11:32, Updated 23 April 2013 10:32

+font -font print
Xero sums game: Craig Winkler charts a BRW Rich 200 comeback

Craig Winkler exited MYOB with a $383 million sale to private equity group Archer Capital in 2009. Photo: James Davies

Craig Winkler made a fortune from accounting software provider MYOB and is well on the way to making another one from rival company Xero.

Xero stock reached an all-time high on March 6 when the shares closed at $6.80. Since the New Zealand company began trading on the ASX on November 8, Xero’s stock has risen in value by 51 per cent.

Winkler is a non-executive director and second biggest shareholder in Xero after its chief executive Rod Drury, a New Zealander whose stake is worth $147 million.

Winkler’s stake is worth $125 million.

The rise pushes his net wealth towards $200 million, which makes him a contender for BRW’s Rich 200 in 2013.

Since its ASX listing, Xero stock has been trading on both the Australian and New Zealand stock exchanges.

Xero sells online accounting software to small businesses and their accountants.

On February 7 it informed the market that its customer numbers had passed 135,000 and that it has recurring monthly revenue of NZ$4 million ($3.2 million).

About 40,000 of its customers are in Australia, the company says.

The company’s fast growth replicates what Winkler achieved at MYOB, which he started in 1991.

After establishing itself as a market leader in the accounting software market, MYOB was sold to private equity firm Archer Capital for $383 million in January 2009.

Winkler received about $110 million for his 28 per cent stake.

His initial investment in Xero was made about two months later when he spent about $15 million for an investment that has made him more than $100 million.

Winkler’s $125 million stake in Xero would be worth more but for a share sale in November last year in which he received $12 million by reducing his stake in the company from 19.5 per cent to 15.7 per cent.

Comments