High-tech firm joins its big sister on the market

Hardy & Greys.

Hardy & Greys.

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Just weeks after world-renowned fishing equipment manufacturer Hardy & Greys was put up for sale, its high-tech sister company Hardy Advanced Composites Ltd (HACL) has also been put on the market.

Hardy Advanced Composites was originally the research and development arm of the fishing rod maker, but earlier this year became a separate company with its own clients in the aerospace, defence, Formula 1 and medical device industries.

The Alnwick-based business was established in the late 1960s to develop rod blanks using the newly-invented glass-fibre and later carbon-fibre materials.

It now offers a complete design and manufacture service covering wide ranges of composite tubes using glass fibre, carbon fibre, aramid fibre (Kevlar) or a mixture of materials.

Since the late 1990s, it has increasingly worked on product areas outside of the traditional rod business – such as communications masts for the SAS, parts for the Airbus, on America’s Cup yachts, in the NLAW anti-tank weapon, in medical devices used by surgeons and on the Space Station.

The growth in the non-fishing equipment side of the business has led management to make HACL the subject of a separate sale process.

Both Hardy Advanced Composites and the Hardy & Greys fishing tackle business are subsidiaries of the Harris & Sheldon Group. The group is gradually divesting itself of the manufacturing businesses under its control and has instructed business advisors Grant Thornton to look for buyers.