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Fear & Loading: Vista Outdoor Streamlines with Sale of Eyewear Companies

Fear & Loading: Vista Outdoor Streamlines with Sale of Eyewear Companies

Vista Outdoor has completed the sale of eyewear brands Bollé, Cébé and Serengeti, a move first announced by Chief Executive Officer Chris Metz in November 2017—to allow the company to concentrate on its core, outdoor business—and key component in the firm’s strategic transformation plan unveiled in May. “An increased focus on our heritage ammunition business will manifest itself in more innovative and breakthrough new products introduced over the next few years,” Metz explained earlier this year. “We also anticipate that by prioritizing this business, we will be able to invest more capital to further enhance and expand our global leadership position.”

A European private equity fund agreed to make the purchase in July and gross proceeds from the now-completed divestiture were $158 million. Vista Outdoor’s net proceeds from the sale, after transaction adjustments and financial advisor fees, were approximately $154 million, subject to customary post-closing true-up for working capital and other items.

“Completing the sale of our eyewear brands is a positive step in our strategic transformation plan,” said Metz. “We believe this is a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties, and we are excited that the buyer will help these iconic brands thrive.”

Companies that are currently part of the Vista Outdoors stable include Federal Premium Ammunition, CCI, Savage Arms, Eagle, Bushnell, Stevens, RCBS, American Eagle and many others. The meandering route in which the stylish eyewear firms fell into that family began when Bushnell Performance Optics acquired them for roughly $47 million in 2000. Bushnell was then purchased by ATK in 2013 and when Vista Outdoor departed from ATK as a separate, publicly traded company in 2015, they were part of the package. 

“We are eager to build on the momentum from this sale,” Metz said. “We are hard at work on the next stage of our transformation plan and confident in our ability to put Vista Outdoor on a path for future success.”


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