The business on...Peter Dubens, Founder, Oakley Capital


Do I know him?


Maybe not, because he keeps a low profile, but Mr Dubens has been one of Britain's most successful entrepreneurs over the past two decades.

His latest deal, announced yesterday, saw Oakley, the AIM-listed private equity company he runs, spend just over £15m on a 66 per cent stake in Time Out New York. Oakley already has a 50 per cent stake in the UK business of the listings magazine.

What else has he done?

The list is endless. Remember those very Eighties T-shirts that used to change colour according to your body temperature? They were made by one of Mr Dubens' companies. He's best known as the man who bought internet service provider Pipex and then sold it on at a large profit to Tiscali. He also invested in 365 Media, the dot.com business that became a major entertainment and news service. He sold it to Sky for £100m a few years back.

Any other interesting ventures?

PJ Smoothies was fun – he was the Pete in "Pete & Johnny's", the duo on which the brand was based. That business got sold to Pepsi for £20m.

Who was Johnny?

Jonathan Sieff, one of the Sieff dynasty linked to Marks & Spencer. Mr Dubens met him through a school friend and they have often teamed up as business partners – the T-shirt business was a joint venture. Not that Mr Dubens lacks other connections: friends include Sir Philip Green, chef Tom Aikens and the Wolfson brothers – both Simon, the boss of Next, and Andrew, who is another colleague.

Any howlers?

Not that we know of. He was linked with a bid for Friends Reunited a couple of years back, which might have been tough to make money from, but the deal didn't happen. He was too smart to overbid when someone else came in for the firm.

What's next?

Watch this space. But, aged 42, Mr Dubens isn't planning to spend a great deal more time sailing, his big love, just yet. Once a driver for Joe Lewis, the billionaire businessman, he's still on the move.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test