Partridge of Redditch, one of the oldest established fish hook brands, has been sold by O. Mustad & Son to UK company Fishing Matters.
After negotiations dating back to May this year, Fishing Matters owner Mark Hamnett confirmed to Angling International that he took possession of Partridge this week.
Hamnett established his company in 2005 and counts Varivas and Owner among a prestigious client list. “We have grown up very quickly,” he said. “The acquisition of Partridge is a significant leap for us and will increase our revenue four-fold.
“We are extremely pleased to have one of the leading hook brands in the world under our ownership. It fits extremely well with our portfolio.
“This acquisition takes us from importer/distributor to global brand owner and gives us a critical mass with which to develop the company. We will be focusing on hooks for the foreseeable future. We want to develop and consolidate Partridge as a premium brand.”
The sale of Partridge brings to an end 13 years of Mustad ownership. Ole Bjerke was Managing Director of Partridge for ten years in the UK and continued to manage the brand when he relocated to France in 2006.
Bjerke, now Vice President, Portfolio Management and Marketing, led the negotiations for Mustad and spoke to Angling International shortly after the deal had been concluded to explain the decision. “Mustad’s strategy is to focus on its core brands and after much consideration we decided that it would be better for the Partridge brand if it were in someone else’s hands.
“We subsequently talked to a number of interested parties and are very happy to have reached agreement with Mark. He has done a very good job with his brands. He is committed, enthusiastic and he delivers. The deal is very positive for Partridge.“
The exact year of Partridge’s formation remains unclear, but opinion is generally agreed that founder Albert Partridge went into production in Redditch – the hook-making centre of England – around the turn of the last century.
Partridge left the business to his son Ted who subsequently sold it to a consortium led by Alan Bramley in 1970. The company extended production to include split cane rods and became an internationally-acclaimed brand. It was purchased by Norwegian hook-making giant Mustad in 1996.