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Ten national family businesses that will still be here in 100 years

Following Business Leader Magazine’s analysis of ten South West family businesses that will still be here in 100 years – we looked at ten national businesses that will be doing the same.

Bremont Watches

Founded in 2002 by brothers Giles and Nick English, watches from luxury brand Bremont are manufactured and sold from their headquarters in Henley-on-Thames. However, the inspiration behind the brand came from the brothers’ late father Euan.

In March 1995, Euan and Nick were flying an old WWII aircraft when it ran into difficulty. The result left Euan dead and Nick with 30 broken bones. As children their father used to bring home old timepieces that the brothers would try to fix. This led to the start of the business and this passion now lives on in the classic design of Bremont’s watches.

Bibby Line Group

From its roots in shipping Bibby Line Group has grown into a £1bn business, operating in over 20 countries and employing just under 4,000 people. These employees are from various industries including retail, financial services, distribution, shipping and marine-based businesses.

Bibby Line Group is a diverse and forward-looking family business, that has delivered personal, responsive and flexible customer solutions for over 200 years. The company has family ties to the business dating from 1807. The current custodian and Managing Director is Sir Michael Bibby.

Aspall Cider

Suffolk-based cider makers Aspall have been crafting ‘cyders’ since 1728 and are one of the oldest family businesses anywhere in the world. Currently in their eighth generation, the company was created by Clement Chevallier, who planted the original orchard at Aspall Hall and is still in use today.

The family still live and work amongst the orchard in the small market town of Debenham, along the river Debon. Current custodian Barry took over from his father John in 1993 and has seen the company grow into one of the nation’s most loved beverages.


Stoke-on-Trent-based Bet365 Group Limited is run by the Coates family, who started the business in 2000 and now has revenues exceeding £1.5bn.

The business had humble beginnings when Denise developed a sports betting platform from her portacabin. A year after its creation, they borrowed £15m from RBS against the family’s betting shop estate, which had been created by her father Peter in 1974.

Since then, the company has established itself as one of the world’s largest online gaming platforms with annual wagers exceeding £12bn.


One of Britain’s most beloved bakers, Warburtons has been a family-run business since 1876 when husband and wife team Thomas and Ellen started the company.

The Bolton-based business is now in its fifth generation and brothers Jonathan, Ross and Brett have been the custodians since 1991.

Jonathan has been the Chairman since 2001 and has seen Warburtons become the largest family-owned bakery in the UK, employing more than 4,500 people across 12 bakeries and 14 depots.


From small beginnings as a builder for agricultural tipping trailers in 1945, JCB has grown into a worldwide provider of construction and agricultural equipment.

Over the last 73 years, the company has expanded to 22 plants across 4 continents and has over 750 dealerships across the world, with over 11,000 employees.

Founder Joseph Bamford started the business from a small lockup in London where he fixed and sold carts from scrap WW2 Jeeps.


Optical retail chain, Specsavers was founded by husband and wife Doug and Mary Perkins on the island of Guernsey in 1984. The company expanded to the mainland shortly after and opened their first high street shop in Bristol later that year.

They now have over 750 stores and 18,000 employees across the UK. Last year they reported revenues exceeding £2.27bn and have an extensive range of eyewear and hearing aids from major fashion brands.

Her son John is now joint MD with his father and they have a reported personal wealth of over £1.1bn.

John Swire & Sons

In 1816, Liverpudlian John Swire set up an small import-export business, which over the last 200 years has evolved into a multi-disciplined conglomerate with an annual turnover of £26.4bn.

Now in its 9th generation, Barnaby Swire is Chairman and the company now operates in the property, aviation, food, beverages, agricultural, wholesale, retail, mining and shipping industries with over 130,000 worldwide employees.

Swire controls a large property empire in Asia and is the anchor bottler for Coca-Cola in the region. Their oilfield service is the world’s largest supplier of offshore cargo to the global energy industry.

Pentland Group

Pentland is a third-generation family business who are behind some of the top international sports, outdoor and fashion brands, including Berghaus, Canterbury, Speedo and Mitre. They are also the global licensee for Lacoste and Ted Baker.

Originally founded in 1932 as The Liverpool Shoe Company, the company grew into one of the UK’s most prominent shoemakers. In 1972 they rebranded and 11 years later they purchased a 55% stake in Reebok, who soon after launched innovative trainers that were sold worldwide. The Rubin family continues to operate the business and last year they reported annual sales exceeding £3bn across 190 countries.

Bestway Group

London-based Bestway Group is a British multinational conglomerate with operations in the wholesale, cement, banking and pharmacy industries across the UK and Pakistan.

Founded in 1976 by Sir Anwar Pervez, the company is now the largest British-Asian family business and the seventh-largest family enterprise in the UK.

Pervez’s entrepreneurial flair started in 1963 when he opened a convenience store in Earl’s Court.

By the early 70s he had 10 stores in West London and in 1976 he opened his 1st wholesale warehouse.

The company is now the 2nd largest retail wholesaler in the UK and operates the 3rd largest retail pharmacy. 2 of Pervez’s sons and a nephew are now directors.

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