Property/Manufacturing
2015: No.31= - £120m
2014: No.26= - £120m

Constantine Folkes’ Folkes disposed of some property interests in South Africa in 2013 after a demerger the year before. However Folkes companies still have substantial assets of around £100 million, and Folkes properties have a rental income of more than £6 million.

It is major property interests in the UK which drive Folkes Holdings forward. The company is 100 per cent owned by Constantine Folkes and his family, and is one of the largest private property groups in the Midlands, with a portfolio of two million sq ft in the UK.

The company combines property development and investment with Black Country metal bashing, and together they have been a source of wealth for Constantine Folkes, who can trace his company back to 1697. The company was named in the Top 10 oldest family firms in the UK by Family Business United.

Constantine Folkes is a descendant of the Lye blacksmith who began the business more than 300 years and nine generations ago.

Folkes Holdings’ main business is now developing and investing in industrial, office and residential property.

The company has an extensive portfolio which includes property in Wellingborough, Birmingham, and throughout the Black Country as well as Studley Point in Birmingham Road, Studley – one of the most prominent office buildings in the area.

The company’s roots are in engineering and Folkes Holdings, based in Dudley Road, Lye, includes Somers Forge in Halesowen – one of the largest open die forges in Europe – making crankshafts for the marine , power, oil, aerospace and defence industries. There are also two heat treatment plants, Controlled Heat Treatment which has been operating in Lye since 1946, and Express Heat Treatment in Cradley Heath. The businesses do well, against the trend of many similar manufacturing operations. The company also has a successful building company – William Williams – in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.

Folkes, aged 61 and an accountant by training, took over the helm of the family company in 1981. When taking over at the age of 28 he was the youngest chairman of a quoted company, putting his drive and determination down to principles instilled in him as a child by his father John Folkes. In 2002 he took the company private.

As well as the value of Folkes Holdings we add £20 million for past and present dividends, pension funds, houses , art and other investments.