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Two families ensure Nelsons has 150 years of success

Nelsons' Natural Healthcare, the family-owned homeopathic manufacturer, celebrates 150 years of trading this year.

Robert Wilson, second-generation chairman, said: "I am extremely proud of what we have achieved in the last 150 years – Nelsons has grown significantly since 1869 and is now an international leader in its field."

This is a significant milestone for any family business, but for Nelsons it is particularly remarkable the business is still family owned after a tragic plane crash killed the remaining descendents of the company's founding family in 1972.

The Wilson family was approached to buy what was left of the business in 1974 and have since turned it from a small company with a turnover of £100,000 to one with revenues of just under £200 million.

In an interview with Campden FB in August 2009, Robert explained more about the family's decision to buy the business: "There was a great sense that Nelsons may cease to be. It was really a heart-based decision because Nelsons was a very small concern, and wasn't greatly profitable.

"But because my father and great uncle were so passionate about it, they wanted to make sure it survived," he said. (Click here to read the full interview)

The success the Wilson family has had with Nelsons was acknowledged last year when they won the Best UK Family Business 2009 at the Coutts Prize for Family Business. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
 
Nelsons was established in 1860 and is today run by Robert and his brother Patrick. (Pictured receiving the Coutts prize)

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