American Capital is becoming more and more involved in the Outdoor world with several relatively large investments in different brands. Earlier this year, the publicly traded equity firm helped Rocky Shoes and Boots with its acquisition of EJ Footwear with a $148 million investment to fund the acquisition and replace its existing revolving credit facility (See BOSS_0519). Following that, the company invested $19 million to help fund the Confluence/Watermark Merger. American Capital currently owns 95% of Confluence. American Capital funded the initial Fenway Partners’ acquisition of Riddell Sports, was involved in the recent Riddell-Bell integration, and still holds a small stake in the company (see BOSS_0440). In 2003, it invested $38 million in Camelbak, which is now owned by Bear Stearns and Giuliani Partners.

Now, the firm is making another investment. This one is designed to fund Bushnell Performance Optics’ acquisition of Michaels of Oregon with $117 million in the senior and junior subordinated debt. The combined entity will now operate as Bushnell Outdoor Products.