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Hardy and Greys Up For Sale

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Hardy and Greys Up For Sale

In an exclusive interview with the UK-based fishing trade magazine Angling International, Ken Brewster, the Commercial Director of Hardy & Greys has explained why the company is being put up for sale. Meanwhile business continues as usual at this iconic British brand based in Alnwick in the North-East of England.

Source: Angling International

Hardy & Greys – a business that has built up an almost iconic status since its formation in 1872 – has this week been placed on the market by its owner the Harris & Sheldon Group, a family-owned UK private investment group.

The sale is part of a long-term business plan by Harris & Sheldon to divest itself of the manufacturing businesses under its control.

Hardy & Greys has struggled to make a profit in the UK in recent years and a reshuffle last year saw it make 19 staff redundant at its base in Alnwick, Northumberland.

The slimming down operation also saw the departure of its Managing Director Richard Sanderson, who has subsequently taken over a similar role at Shimano Normark in the UK.

However, Ken Brewster told Angling International that following the streamlining of the business, the first six months of 2012 have been the most profitable period for the company in five years.

The ownership of Hardy & Greys is seen as an opportunity for a new owner to take control of the brand and continue to expand its export markets, which is seen as key to its continuing success.

Brewster added: “The Miller family, which owns Hardy & Greys, has always been pretty hands-off so this is an opportunity for a more hands-on tackle business to get hold of the Hardy brands. It is exciting news for the company.

“Our growth potential is in Germany, the US and new European markets,” added Brewster, who earlier this month announced the setting up of a subsidiary in France. The sale will not affect those plans and Brewster stressed that it was business as usual for the company as it searched for a new owner.

“We will not be putting the brakes on anything and all new initiatives will carry on as normal during the sale period.”

No asking price has been revealed for the company and Brewster said that there was no urgency for a quick sale. “We will wait for the right bid,” he added.

Continue reading the full article right now on the Angling International website...







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Comments (13 posted):

morayflyfisher on 23/10/2012 15:10:32
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Wish I had the money Paul. A great company with superb products and it shows a sign of the times we are in.I hope someone does take it on and shakes it up and back to what it could be again. come on the lottery tonight.:D
mcnerney on 23/10/2012 20:16:38
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Paul: Interesting turn of events, I sure hope it goes to someone that can help Hardy regain it's status in the industry. Larry
s fontinalis on 23/10/2012 20:32:56
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we should do a syndicate - i'm in for $10
sweetandsalt on 23/10/2012 21:15:13
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Actually, with Hardy's award winning line of very modern SINTRIX rods, "performance" reels like Ultralite DD and Fortuna X and re-issued classics like Perfect now machined and anodized, Hardy is on a roll. I can't think of a fly fishing company that has invigorated its reputation here in America as quickly and effectively as has Hardy. Someone with the proper credentials, sense of tradition and requisite deep pockets could accelerate Hardy to an elite position in the fly fishing industry.
fredaevans on 24/10/2012 16:27:30
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I hope your right SAS, I hope your right. Another article on this (MidCurrent) has a statement by the American President which expanded on the topic. That aside apparently they sold 80,000 rods last year and took a 447,000 pound cash hit (roughly 3/4 million USD). Sell that many rods and still in the red? They must have a very interesting Business Plan .......:shades:
sweetandsalt on 24/10/2012 16:42:29
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Fred, I am going with Jim Murphy's (of Hardy-Grays North America) word on the subject bolstered by my very positive experience with the new products. I see Hardy tackle at fly shops that never sold it before (or at least not since a Lightweight series reel was must-have decades ago) and am fishing two Zenith and one Proaxis rod myself. I imagine some "Romney-esque" corporate raider could come in, buy it under pretense of preserving UK jobs and sell it to the Chinese but I hope the existing board will vet the proposed buyer(s) fly fishing historical credentials with an eye toward preserving history not merely capitol.
mojo on 25/10/2012 10:19:26
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Lets just hope it's not a stockbroker or millionaire yuppie trying to make more money for themselves.
on 03/11/2012 19:01:50
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Aren't they already making a lot of their products in eastern Asia anyway? I'd like to see them get back to their roots of having their products made in England. Is it House of Hardy or House of Mao? It really does amaze me when some of these companies are still selling their products at high-end prices while still having manufacturing done in China, Taiwan, etc etc.... Not that the products are necessarily bad, just that they are trying to push for such a high profit margin on a product that so many are banking on British tradition.
mojo on 04/11/2012 02:05:35
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Aren't they already making a lot of their products in eastern Asia anyway? I'd like to see them get back to their roots of having their products made in England. Is it House of Hardy or House of Mao? It really does amaze me when some of these companies are still selling their products at high-end prices while still having manufacturing done in China, Taiwan, etc etc.... Not that the products are necessarily bad, just that they are trying to push for such a high profit margin on a product that so many are banking on British tradition. Hardy's reels, minus a few are manufactured in Korea, not China. The reels I've seen have tighter tolerances than the UK built ones. I think the St. George and the Perfects are still made in England. Burk will know and maybe tell the complete story.
Pocono on 04/11/2012 07:46:06
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I have a couple of Featherweights; clearly that Hardy line is manufactured in Korea and, given the prices of Hardy reels manufactured in the UK plus the technology and the performance of this product in my hands, I think that these Korean reels are priced reasonably. And I really do like the Korean-built Featherweights; they're my favorite reel for most 3 wt. rod applications; lightweight, smooth drag and classic look. My favorite reel is still their UK-manufactured Perfect, which, for me, is just that. Pocono
sweetandsalt on 05/11/2012 15:09:00
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If I understand correctly, the Hardy rods (SINTRIX) and reels (Ultralite DD and Fortuna,et al) that are made in Korea are produced in state-of-the-art shops with thorough input and oversight from UK and US Hardy personnel. Some reel parts that involve steel are made in the UK and shipped to Korea where the quality aluminum machining and assembly are completed. There are SINTRIX rods made in the UK as well for over a grand each which I have never personally seen. Hardy is striving to survive in an internationally competitive world without sacrificing quality. I too love it when a venerable company in our fly fishing or any other industry devises a way to continue to produce the finest quality products here in the US or, in this case, Britain, preserving a tradition of craftsmanship and pride in workmanship. But in an ever increasingly international economic environment, partnerships must be formed and, when they are formed with nations that ally themselves with America, I have learned to accept this modern reality.
brucerducer on 10/11/2012 19:17:23
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I wonder what kind of money it would take to purchase that Name etc?
db cooper on 16/11/2012 19:38:17
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Odd...they finally tap into the U.S with one of the best rods in years (Zenith) and now they decide to sell...I sure hope they continue to grow in the right direction.
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