32 classic 'British' brands that aren't actually British

British brands are appreciated around the world for their quality and heritage.

While all of them started out as British businesses through and through, these days many are actually owned by foreigners.

Some are well-known such as Harrods , which was bought by Qatar Holdings in 2010 and before that was owned by the Fayed brothers of Egypt.

But others are more discreet about their proprietors.

Here are 33 “British” brands that you might not realise are actually foreign-owned.

HP is the famous brown sauce of the Houses of Parliament (hence the name). Nevertheless, it is owned by Americans -- Heinz purchased it in 2005.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Manchester United plays in England's Premier League and is one of the most famous football clubs in the world. But United is owned by the Glazer family of the US. Plenty of other big clubs from Leicester to Liverpool are owned by foreign investors.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Scottish Power has been controlled by the Spanish multi-utility Iberdrola since 2006.


TfL is controlled by the Greater London Authority, but its famous red double-deckers operate through international partners. The biggest, Arriva, is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway operator.

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