Family-owned for over two centuries, and originally a ship operator, this Liverpool company has diversified into areas such as factoring and woodland burials. It is also expanding in retailing, and in 2011 took 100% ownership of the Costcutter convenience store chain, having first invested in 2007. In March it struck a deal with Palmer and Harvey, at No7 in the Top Track 100, to take over its 800 stores and form a buying group with the wholesaler. Group sales were £1.4bn in 2012 under managing director Sir Michael Bibby, 49.
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