Andreas Panayiotou (businessman)

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Andreas Panayiotou
2014-05-02 Andreas Panayiotou arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London (14089475185).jpg
Property tycoon and former boxing champion Andreas Panayiotou arrives at Southwark Crown Court
BornJanuary 1966
Known forFounder, Ability Group
Net worthGBP £400 million (June 2011)[1]

Andreas Panayiotou (born January 1966) is a British property developer,[2] the founder of Ability Group, and once the UK's largest private landlord, until he sold up in 2006/07 and moved into hotels.

Early life[edit]

Panayiotou was born in London, the son of Cypriot parents.[1] He never really learnt to read and left school aged 14 without any qualifications.[1] He was kicked out for punching his PE teacher, and went on to become the Essex under-16 amateur middleweight boxing champion.[1]


He started working for his father, before buying an Islington house, converting it into flats, and building one of the UK's largest buy-to-let empires, selling about 7,000 flats and houses in 2006–07, and moving into hotels.[1][3]

According to Panayiotou,

I was the largest private landlord in the UK. I was looking at the returns on my investment – they had been 25%-plus during that period. Then the market started to understand residential; there was the buy-to-let phenomenon ... yields went from 25% to about 3% over the period. To me, it became very straightforward. It wasn't a good investment. I found myself with a big war chest [in 2007]. Where do we go from there? The nearest asset class to residential is hotels. Looking at hotels you can add more value, as against residential where, once it's built and let, you're relying on indexation on rents – with hotels you can improve facilities – build a gym, conference facilities.[3]

His company, Ability Group, had seven hotels in 2011.[1] As of June 2011, he has a £400 million net worth.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He has two sons from his first marriage.[1] He and his second wife Susan live on a 20-acre estate in Epping Forest, and have three daughters.

In May 2014, his sons, George and Costas Panayiotou, were jailed for six months (suspended for 18 months) and 15 months (suspended for 18 months), respectively, after an unprovoked street attack on an off-duty police officer, which left with him a fractured eye-socket and titanium plates in his cheek.[4] One online petition calling for prison sentences received over 30,000 signatures.[4]

Panayiotou owns a £40-million Gulfstream G450 jet, a £12-million Mangusta 130 yacht, and two Cessna Citation jets, as well as a Range Rover, Ferrari Enzo, Lamborghini LP700, Rolls-Royce Phantom convertible, and a Bugatti Veyron.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Secret of the £400 million tycoon who does not know how to read". Evening Standard. 3 June 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Andreas Panayiotou – Property Investor". Progressive Property. 20 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Interview with Andreas Panayiotou – The Grounded Billionaire". heditionmagazine. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b Siddle, John (21 May 2014). "Petition for tycoon Andreas Panayiotou's sons to be jailed after assaulting police officer". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 5 October 2015.