After selling his logistics empire last year, Owen Glenn made a vow. “I’m not exactly going to be spinning around in my wheelchair,” he promised after pocketing a tidy sum – put at “a little less” than $500 million – from the sale of the company he founded, OTS Group.
Mr Glenn, 72, proved true to his word. Soon after completing the sales deal of OTS to a London-based private equity group, he was signing on another dotted line – this time as co-owner of the Vodafone Warriors. He shares the role 50-50 with fellow NBR Rich Lister Eric Watson.
It made a lot of sense: Mr Glenn has agreed to stay out of the logistics business until 2017. And he loves his sport – just as he does yachting and racehorses.
The former Mt Roskill Grammar old boy (he left at age 15) can look forward to watching more of the rugby league team he’s backing. After being based in Monaco for many years, he’s indicated a desire to spend more time Down Under now he’s said goodbye to the company he founded in 1978.
Mr Glenn’s name became attached to the Uniersity of Auckland’s business school after he donated $7.5 million to it in 2005. Those connections were strengthened when the university awarded him an honorary doctorate of laws. And he further added to his list of credits when he was awarded accounting body CPA Australia’s highest honour – honorary fellow of CPA (FCPA) – in recognition of his global entrepreneurial success.
The sale of OTS enables him to spend more time with his family, and his superyacht, the 34m Ubiquitous, Mr Glenn says. He has also signalled he wishes to continue to pursue his philanthropic interests, including the Glenn Family Foundation.
Mr Glenn’s memoir, Making a Difference, went on sale this month. Proceeds will go to the Glenn Family Foundation.