Hardy & Grey’s: Brand For Sale, But It’s Business As Usual

Harris & Sheldon Group Ltd, the family-owned private investment group which has owned Hardy for the past 45 years, instructed business advisors Grant Thornton to look for a potential buyer for Hardy & Grey’s.

MidCurrent received this news yesterday afternoon and today spoke with Jim Murphy, president of Hardy North America.

“I believe the company will come out of this in much better shape than it has been in,” Murphy told us. “Expansion in the US and Germany have been rapid and demanding, and it has outstripped the portfolio.  On the other hand it’s a great opportunity for the company to retool its capital resources and continue expanding.  In my opinion Hardy & Grey’s has been a well-kept secret.”  We asked Murphy about the viability of company and its US operations.  Murphy said: “Hardy & Grey’s just finished implementing a new three-year plan,  and it is very much business as usual.”

This afternoon the London Telegraph reported: “Despite turnover of £12.8m from selling 80,000 rods in 2010, the company made a loss of £446,000. It axed 19 staff from its 100-strong workforce, but the cost cutting was deemed to be insufficient.”

Murphy elaborated in his conversation with us, pointing out that in 2010 the company was dealing with the collapse of the UK economy, and that “those numbers don’t reflect the successes of the past two years.”

Read the press release in the extended entry.

From:  James Murphy.  President. Hardy North America

RE: Hardy & Greys Seeks a New Owner

Date:  October 22, 2012

World-renowned fishing equipment manufacturer, Hardy & Greys, is seeking a new owner following a strategic review of the business that has identified major investment in export markets as the key to its continuing success.

The Alnwick-based fishing tackle maker has held ten Royal Warrants over the last century and numbers the Prince of Wales among its customers.  For the last 45 years, it has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harris & Sheldon Group Ltd – a family-owned private investment group.

Harris & Sheldon is gradually divesting itself of the manufacturing businesses under its control and has instructed business advisors Grant Thornton to look for a potential buyer.

Hardy has been based in Alnwick since its formation in 1872.  It became Hardy & Greys Ltd in 2004 – the change of name reflecting its acquisition of fellow fishing tackle brand Greys, later followed by the acquisition of Chub – and set up subsidiaries in the USA and Germany which have gone on to become key markets.  Across the three brands, it covers all the branches of recreational fishing.

The company has been at the forefront of the fishing tackle market since being awarded its first patent in 1880.  It developed the first carbon fibre fishing rods and, thanks to a partnership with researchers at 3M, recently created rods made from the new SINTRIX carbon fibre material that have won a string of awards and are recognised as the finest fly rods in the world.

Information:  Jim Murphy, Hardy North America. Tel:  772-708-1982.  Email: jmurphy@hardygreys.com

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