Angling technology firm bought out of administration by former suppliers

Alnwick-based LYNX Fishing fell into administration in November and was acquired by GMS

GMS managing director Owen Ingram with the firm's Precision Hand Tool
GMS managing director Owen Ingram with the firm's Precision Hand Tool

Angling technology pioneers LYNX Fishing has been bought out of administration by former suppliers - and fellow Northumberland firm - GMS.

Prudhoe-based GMS now hopes to market the LYNX-patented Precision Hand Tool – a technology which links fishing line and hook without the need for a knot or a crimp.

Despite promising publicity surrounding its product launch, LYNX fell into administration in November following cash flow difficulties. The move resulted in the loss of six jobs.

As a supplier to the Alnwick-based firm, GMS bought its assets in an undisclosed deal – which is the first acquisition for the engineering components specialists.

LYNX managing director Andrew Petherick has been re-employed by GMS, along with one other member of staff.

GMS is looking to distribute the tool in Canada, Latin America and South Africa and is fulfilling existing orders in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Scandinavia and the USA.

GMS Managing director Owen Ingram said: “The Hand Tool is a one-time sale, but it will use between £25-30 in consumables each year.

“That’s where the revenue stream comes from – so what we’re looking to do is licence that side of it off to the hook manufacturers, and just create a royalty.

“So, we only have to concentrate on manufacturing and distributing the actual Hand Tool.

“There are an infinite number of attachments that go with it, which we can put back to the manufacturers, and make our revenue off the royalty.”

He added: “If this technology is taken up by the fishing community, it will essentially obsolete hooks with eyes – or at least, dramatically reduce that market.

“We’re looking to talk to those manufacturers, and say ‘this technology is coming into the market, we’d like you to manufacture the product under licence for us’.

“They can then distribute through their own channels, and under licence, we can take a royalty off that.”

Anglers traditionally attach a hook and line by tying a knot, which creates a weakness in the line and can snap off in the fish’s mouth. The Precision Hand Tool was designed in response to this problem.

LYNX moved into a 17,500 sq ft unit on Alnwick’s Willowburn Industrial Estate in June 2012, and the following November, the team was featured on Sky Sports’ weekly angling series Tight Lines.

The firm received investment from the Business Investors Group (BIG) and the North East Technology Fund (NETF), as well as local private investors.

GMS has made a name for itself as an importer of Chinese engineering products. In 2011 the firm received funding to open a new warehouse and assembly line in Prudhoe.

The firm also operates a network of offices throughout China, including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Dalian.

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