Essex Life - - RICHEST 50 -

Con­struc­tion 2018: £98m 2017: £95m (36th)

The Cherry fam­ily’s Stonebond prop­erty op­er­a­tion saw its as­sets rise sharply to £6.5m last year. But the com­pany is small beer be­side the fam­ily’s main in­ter­est, Brent­wood-based Coun­try­side Prop­er­ties. Char­tered sur­veyor and es­tate agent Alan Cherry founded the com­pany in 1958. It was listed on the stock mar­ket in 1972. Cherry re­mained as chair­man un­til his death in 2010. His sons Gra­ham and Richard, joined the board in 1984 and 1986 re­spec­tively. Coun­try­side was taken pri­vate in 2005 and later was largely taken over by a pri­vate eq­uity group in 2013, although the Cherry fam­ily are still in­volved in the business. Coun­try­side floated on the stock mar­ket in 2016 and is now val­ued at £1.5bn. The broth­ers sold shares worth £36m last year and re­tain a stake worth £35m. Pro­ceeds from share sales, shares in trust and other as­sets such as Stonebond eas­ily take the fam­ily to £98m.

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