A fast-growing fishing tackle brand has hooked-up with Birmingham mergers and acquisitions firm Cattaneo in a bid to land new investment.
Founded 30 years ago, Telford-based Preston Innovations is one of the fishing tackle industry’s success stories, having developed and grown a number of market-leading tackle brands.
The business, widely known to match and course fishing enthusiasts, introduced its own bait brand in 2006 before moving into specialist carp and specimen fishing in 2010.
Growth has been strong in the UK but a third of Preston’s sales now come from continental Europe, where it sells into more than 30 countries including through its sister company, Primo Distribution, based in the Netherlands.
Around 20 per cent of sales come from Belgium, Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands, and this is rapidly expanding into other leading fishing territories, including Russia and Ukraine.
Employing 75 people, the business was founded by David Preston in 1984, who said: “My philosophy has always been to give anglers what they want, a quality brand at a good price. To achieve this we have over the years worked with leading world-class anglers to design and develop products that work for them and then make these available to the leisure angler.
“From my point of view, after 30 years in the industry the point has come where the foundation is strong and now is the time to consider opportunities that will secure the future of the brands and take the business to the next level through people who want to invest in our quality brands and who also have the vision and ideas and base to further expand both the business model and our international reach.”
The UK angling market is estimated to have a retail value of £600 million, with the global market for fishing tackle worth around £12 nillion a year. Preston has grown revenues by around 43 per cent since 2010 to more than £17 million.
Charles Cattaneo, who is leading the Cattaneo team appointed to explore sale options and advise Mr Preston, said: “Market leading consumer brands have continued to grow strongly through the recent economic downturn, and we expect those owned by Preston Innovations will command a premium price in the market.
“Preston is renowned for its quality product and expertise so we are anticipating strong interest from a number of buyers, in the UK and further afield, looking to acquire some of Europe’s leading angling brands.”
The businesses are expected to fetch in excess of £25 million with offers being sought from interested parties before the end of April.