Former Tory MP Esmond Bulmer and his family made £84 million when they sold their stake in the family’s Hereford-based cider-making business.
Bulmers was sold to Scottish and Newcastle for £165 million. At the time Esmond Bulmer said he regretted the sale, but the business needed scale and financial resources to exploit the global market for their cider products.
Bulmers – now the world’s largest cider maker – was founded in 1887 by Percy Bulmer, the 20-year-old son of a local Hereford clergyman. He was joined in the business by his brother Fred. With a loan of £1000 from their father they bought an eight acre field just outside Hereford’s city walls and built their first cider mill.
Today the business makes 65 per cent of all cider drunk in Britain and most of its cider exports. Its brands of Strongbow, Woodpecker and Scrumpy Jack are world famous. Bulmers’ cider making facility in County Tipperary, Ireland, makes Bulmers Original and Magners.
In 1911 Bulmers received a Royal Warrant and they are still official cider maker to Her Majesty the Queen.
Esmond Bulmer, now 73, was Conservative MP for Kidderminster from 1974 to 1983. He was MP for Wyre Forest from 1983 until the General Election of 1987 when he stepped down.