WISDEN.COM: Woodstock Cricket purchased by investors

Bespoke bat manufacturer and equipment supplier Woodstock Cricket Co has been purchased by a group of investors led by long term shareholder Johnno Gordon.

Gordon, who has been a Woodstock shareholder for the last 10 years and will become majority shareholder has taken the reins after previous owner John Newsome decided that his time was better spent as a bat maker rather than running the business as a whole.

Newsome, who will remain with the business as the master bat maker has reached a point, having run the business in its entirety since inception where he felt that new blood was needed in order to take the business forward, and approached Gordon about purchasing the business from him.

In order to do this, Gordon put together a group of investors who take on a flourishing business with the desire to take it to the next level, whilst maintaining the brand qualities and ethics that have so far served the business well.

“Our main priorities have always been to provide cricketers with top quality equipment at a fair price point, with service levels to match that of our products,” said Gordon. “It has always been vitally important to us that our service levels as well as our products set us apart from our competition and that will remain our aim in the months and years ahead.

“We have great respect and admiration for all competitor brands in the market and look forward to being a part of an incredibly strong group of British bat makers moving forwards”.

The investors are made up of a number of different people, with different skill sets, allowing Woodstock to plan extensively for the future, looking at a number of different opportunities both nationally and internationally as they look to achieve steady growth on a global level. These investors include Radio X DJ and cricket-lover Toby Tarrant, Broadcaster and cricket lover Max Rushden, and a number of other private investors.

Tarrant says of getting involved, “As a cricket-lover it’s really exciting to be involved with Woodstock as it takes this next step. However, I do want to apologise in advance to all my fellow bowlers out there because the bats are world class.”

Rushden added, “I am really excited, and honoured, to be involved with Woodstock. I love cricket. The last time I was on a cricket pitch I shared a stand of 7 with Andrew Strauss, scoring the majority of the runs (5), while he prodded at the other end. He finished 114 no, but that detail isn’t important. What is important is that had I been using a Woodstock bat, I would probably still be at the crease – I would recommend you get at least five each.”

All investors are cricket-lovers, and this was a key factor in who Gordon approached to get involved. They are hard working, cricket loving people who understand what the Woodstock brand values are, and feel that they can add value to a brand that put service and quality above anything else.

Newsome, who has also been a big part of the process, will continue to play a lead role in the business, making bats and dealing with clients at the Shropshire based workshop. “Taking a step back from the day to day running of the business now allows me to concentrate on making bats and dealing with our customers on a daily basis,” he said. “My time is much better spent on these tasks rather than the admin side of running a business that takes so much time away from the fundamental task of making bats and dealing with orders which is of course the most important part of our business. Johnno taking the business on is the correct step forward and I am excited by what will come next for Woodstock. The investors are all looking forward to this new challenge, and I look forward to being a continued part of Woodstock’s growth during this next phase.”

This article was originally published in Wisden.com