Who Got Rich This Week: Blue Jackets Owner And Married Japanese Biotech Team

Posted: Dec 21 2013, 10:06am CST | by , in News

Who Got Rich This Week: Blue Jackets Owner and Married Japanese Biotech Team
Photo Credit: Forbes

Each week at Forbes we scan our database of corporate insiders to see who got richer from the action in the stock market.

The Federal Reserve announced this week that it would finally begin to gradually reduce its $85 billion economic stimulus in the new year. After learning  the bond-buying program would be cut to $75 billion starting in January, the markets surged. The S&P 500 popped 1.66% during Wednesday to end the day at an all-time high of 1,810.6 points. On the week the S&P finished up a total of 1.92%. Let’s have a look at who got rich off the action:

Hot Metal

After serving in World War II, John H. McConnell began working in the steel industry, and he soon saw an opening for a custom metals processing business. In 1955, using his Oldsmobile to secure a $600 loan for startup capital, McConnell founded Worthington Industries in Columbus, Ohio. Within two decades the company was generating $100 million in annual sales. McConnell stepped down from leading the company in 1996 and passed away in 2008, leaving Worthington in the capable hands of his son John P. McConnell, who owns 23.5% percent of Worthington’s stock. Today the company, which still focuses on custom steel processing but also the manufacture of other metal products like pressure cylinders, generates $2.6 billion in annual revenue and is worth $3 billion  — and it’s still growing. Worthington’s shares jumped 10.5% this past week after strong second-quarter earnings that saw revenue increase 24% from last year to $769 million. McConnell’s 16.6 million shares (many of which are pledged as collateral for loans) are now worth about $730 million, a nearly $70 million increase during the week. That’s not his only valuable holding. McConnell is also the majority owner of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, which his late father helped bring to Ohio in 1997. FORBES values the team at $175 million.

Biotech Bounce

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals was co-founded in 1996 by Dr. Sachiko Kuno and Dr. Ryuji Ueno, a married Japanese biotech team who wanted to gain a foothold in the American market. In Japan during the 1980s, Kuno and Ueno helped pioneer the medical use of prostones, naturally occurring fatty acid metabolites, to treat chronic problems with constipation and irritable-bowel syndrome. Two of Sucampo’s drugs — Amitiza and Rescula — are on the market globally, and several more are in the pipeline. That includes a version of Amitiza tailored for use among children, which the company just announced is heading for a phase III clinical program. Investors were pleased with the news, pushing Sucampo’s stock up 23.6% the past week. Kuno and Ueno together own just over 60% of the company, a stake that grew $45 million during the week to $230 million.

Thanks to Scott DeCarlo for building and maintaining our insider database screen.

Source: Forbes

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