Profits at the Mackie family’s City Electrical Factors Holdings are holding steady. The group made a £4.7 million profit in 2010-11, while net assets rose to £32.2 million.
Thomas Mackie, an ex-GEC employee and former Royal Air Force radio operator, founded City Electrical Factors in Coventry in 1951 with just one outlet. He began by selling electric cables and light fittings to local contractors. He died in January 2012, aged 89 and a memorial lunch was held in his honour.
City Electrical Factors employs around 8,000 people worldwide. It has more than 400 UK branches and more than 400 overseas outlets including 360 in the United States.
In the 1960s CEF moved into Kenilworth to set up a head office on the site of a former cinema. In the early 1970s, the company began exporting. From there the empire was cultivated and grown by Thomas Mackie, his son Gerald and grandsons Ashley and Adam to the size it is today, with Australasia as its latest target market.
CEF is one of the UK’s fastest growing electrical wholesalers with divisions in Telford, Redditch, Doncaster and Wrexham and overseas manufacturing facilities in France, Turkey, Tunisia and the USA producing a wide range of in-house electrical products. The group has more warehousing space than 30 football stadiums and around 5,000 delivery vehicles.
The company is represented in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Holland and Spain.
Last year the family took on the four leading light bulb manufacturers in a High Court battle, accusing them of failing to help recycle their long life and fluorescent bulbs
The family now lives in Switzerland and their wealth puts them high up in Bilan – Switzerland’s rich list.