|Birth Day:||March 22, 1945|
|Birth Place:||Melbourne, Australia, Australia|
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Another controversial business transaction involving Lew related to a single purpose trust called Etiket. The beneficiaries were Lew's family. The trust was used to acquire 2% of Coles Myer in 1989, at a time of high interest rates. Lew offered competing explanations for what happened next. But the end result was that the Coles Myer shares were assigned to Premier Investments for an A$8 million profit. A Queen's Counsel who investigated the transaction said:
In 1999, each of his children was gifted A$170 million from the "Lew Custodian Trust".
In September 2002, a resolution to remove Lew from the Board of Coles Myer was successful after Stan Wallis, the Chairman of the company, campaigned for Lew's removal. Wallis successfully lobbied major institutional shareholders, including insurance companies, banks and large investment firms to take the rare action of voting against an incumbent director. Prior to the vote, Lew campaigned heavily spending an estimated A$10 million campaigning for his re-election focusing mainly on smaller shareholders. He was successful in obtaining millions of proxies but they were ultimately insufficient.
In March 2008, Lew returned to the public company stage, rejoining the board of the listed company Premier Investments, as its chairman. At the same time, Premier announced a takeover offer for Just Group, one of Australia's largest retailers which owns Just Jeans, Portmans, Dotti, Peter Alexander, Jay Jays, Smiggle and Jacqui E. Analysts criticised the offer for being too low and comprising less than half in cash. In publicly explaining his offer, Lew said Just Group was trading worse than had been disclosed to the investment community.
Premier's stationery brand Smiggle was profitable in its first year in the United Kingdom after launching in 2015. The brand was subsequently launched in Hong Kong and Malaysia in 2016. Smiggle's first global flagship store was opened on London's Oxford Street in 2018, along with the first concession outlet in department store Selfridges.
In May 2019 The Australian Financial Review estimated Lew's net worth as A$2.83 billion as published in the Financial Review Rich List; and in January 2019 his net worth was estimated by Forbes Asia as US$1.90 billion as published in the list of Australia's 50 richest people. Lew is one of thirteen living Australians who have appeared in every Financial Review Rich List, or its predecessor, the BRW Rich 200, since it was first published in 1984.
Currently, Solomon Lew is 78 years, 0 months and 8 days old. Solomon Lew will celebrate 79th birthday on a Friday 22nd of March 2024.
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