Car dealership tycoon Laurie Sutton owns a total of 13 Dark Companies, the most “grandfathered companies” of any person in the top 200 wealthiest Australians. He has 13 special exemptions from disclosing which are not afforded to other Australians.
|Top 200 Rich List (2020)||No. of Dark Companies: 13||Political Donations since FY 1998-99|
|Rank: 113||Suttons Investments Pty. Limited (SGE)||Labor Party: $161,898|
|Wealth: $884m||Suttons Motors Pty Ltd||Coalition: $31,000|
|Wealth (2019): $966m||Suttons Motors Chullora Pty. Limited||Independent: $18,500|
|YoY wealth change: -8.5%||Central Control Pty Ltd||Total: $211,398|
|Suttons Motors Arncliffe Pty. Limited|
|S.M.A. Motors Pty. Limited|
|York Motors (Sales) Pty Ltd|
|U.K. Motors (Wholesale) Pty Ltd|
|Autopool Pty Ltd|
|Suttons Motors Waitara Pty. Limited|
|Andco (1970) Pty Ltd|
|Maranello Imports Pty. Limited|
|Suttons Motors Homebush Pty. Limited|
One of his Dark Companies is Suttons Investments Pty. Limited which is a significant global entity (see explainer below) and parent of his 12 other companies on the secret rich list.
According to figures obtained from Tax Office transparency data, Suttons Investments has generated upwards of $8.1 billion in total income since the 2013/14 financial year. In that time their taxable income was $306.4 million, and they have paid $91.8 million in corporate income tax.
Suttons was founded by Laurie’s father Sir Frederick Sutton in 1943. Laurie inherited the business following his father’s death in 2004 and continues to run the show with his two sons Ryan and Craig.
While his name appears frequently within this privileged group, Mr Sutton is rarely found anywhere else. His photo is even rarer, apparently absent in fact from ordinary Google searches. It’s as if he was destined for the secret rich list.
Following this trend, there is little to no press surrounding Sutton or his 42 car dealerships across NSW, ranging from Porsche and Jaguar to Volvo and Toyota.
Among the scant public detail on record is Sutton filing lawsuits alongside fellow secret rich-lister Kerry Stokes. The pair, and some of their other wealthy neighbours, attempted to make a case against newlyweds holding wedding ceremonies at a local park, supposedly disturbing the peace near their mansions in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
A mansion which Sutton sold in 2020 for $32 million, purchasing the Elizabeth Bay ‘Berthong’ estate in its place (pictured above). His new “trophy home” has previously been owned by Russell Crowe and the Murdoch family.