Richest People

Canada’s Richest People: Eugene Melnyk

Canada’s Richest People
Eugene Melnyk
(Photo: Getty)

Eugene Melnyk

Net Worth:
$1.15 billion
(▼5.0% from 2017)

Rich 100 rank: #92
Change in rank from 2017: ▼13
Major company holdings: Acerus Pharmaceuticals, Ottawa Senators
Location: Barbados
Age: 58

Though Eugene Melnyk made a lot of money in the pharmaceutical business, the industry has caused problems for him lately. In April 2016, he filed suit against the CEO and chairman of Acerus Pharmaceuticals, which Melynk co-founded in 2008, alleging that while he was incapacitated by illness in 2015, they ruined the firm. He claimed damages worth $145 million. Melynk also owns the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, and its AHL affiliate, which relocated from Binghamton, N.Y., to Belleville, Ont. for the 2016–2017 season. A new arena for the big club is the centrepiece of a plan from a Melynk-headed group that won the right to redevelop the capital’s LeBreton Flats in last year.

Melnyk was an innovator in the field of building a company to utilize tax advantages: He personally moved to Barbados and set up many company operations there, including an arm that owned intellectual property and coordinated global R&D. But in recent years, he’s campaigned against the tax structure of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Biovail in 2010, allowing it to benefit from lower Canadian tax rates.

Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017