Daryl Katz, the founder of the Katz Group, has had a long and successful career. The Katz Group is one of the largest privately owned companies in Canada. Many people don’t know much about Katz’s career, though, other than that he owns the Edmonton Oilers, an NHL team. A closer look, however, shows that Katz has used each business success to fund an ever-growing interest in pharmacies, real estate, and entertainment.
Growing a Pharmacy Empire
The Katz family got involved in retail pharmaceuticals when Daryl was just a toddler. His father, a trained pharmacist, opened and managed a large drugstore in Edmonton. After completing law school and starting his own firm, Daryl took a greater interest in the family business. He and his father started Medicine Shoppe in 1992. Katz had his sights set on something larger than a single family-owned drugstore, though. By 1996, he had purchased Rexall drugstores, which had a dozen locations throughout Canada.
Under Katz’s direction, Medicine Shoppe and Rexall stores grew. By 1998, he controlled 30 Medicine Shoppes and 80 Rexall drugstores. He expanded the empire again in 1997 by purchasing 143 Pharma Plus stores. In just over six years, had Katz used a small business to leverage control over 253 drugstores. Not surprisingly, the chain of drugstores continued to grow.
Starting the Shift Toward Real Estate
Image via Flickr by IQRemix
In 2008, Daryl Katz made an investment that some would consider risky: He purchased the Edmonton Oilers for C$200 million. Katz had bigger plans than just owning the hockey team, however. He planned to turn the northern area of Edmonton into an entertainment and recreational complex that would attract people from all over the city.
Katz spent several years dealing with Edmonton’s city council to reach a funding agreement that would allow construction of Rogers Place arena, a new home for the Oilers. The city decided to invest C$279 million in the project. Katz plans to take this venture even farther by building homes, condos, restaurants, and other attractions in the area.
Katz’s real estate involvement doesn’t focus exclusively on Edmonton. The mogul has also purchased high-profile properties in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, where he lives during the winter. In 2015, he bought Art Linkletter’s former 4.6-acre estate for $34.5 million. In 2016, he bought a three-bedroom Bel-Air home for $9.1 million.
Developing a New Feature Film Company
Never one to rest on his laurels, Daryl Katz decided to use his growing wealth to invest in the feature film industry. Accordingly, he and veteran producer Joel Silver joined forces to create Silver Pictures Entertainment, which aims to develop web content as well as feature films.
Silver has worked on several successful projects, including the movies “House on Haunted Hill,” “Thirteen Ghosts,” and “Gothika.” He is currently working on “Project X” and “Sherlock Holmes” with Warner Bros.
Daryl Katz seems to excel at every venture he touches. Some of this ventures, however, stand out as truly impressive business moves. As long as he keeps making smart decisions, there seems to be no limit to what Katz can do with his investments in pharmacies, real estate, entertainment, and beyond.