Vista Outdoor Inc. announced that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Bollé, Cébé and Serengeti, the company’s eyewear brands, to an entity controlled by a significant European private equity fund.
The sale is part of Vista Outdoor’s previously announced strategic business transformation plan, designed to allow the company to focus resources on pursuing growth in the company’s core product categories of ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories, hydration bottles and packs and outdoor cooking products.
“We are pleased to have successfully reached an agreement to sell our eyewear and safety business at an attractive price,” said Chris Metz, chief executive officer of Vista Outdoor. “The business will have the opportunity to reach its full potential under new ownership. This divestiture is the first step in our transformation plan, and will be the first of several potential asset sales that will significantly reduce Vista Outdoor’s leverage and provide additional resources to for us to reinvest in our core businesses.”
Gross proceeds from the divestiture are expected to be approximately $158 million, subject to customary working capital and transaction adjustments. The purchase price represents a premium to the EBITDA multiple paid for Bollé, Cébé and Serengeti as part of the Bushnell acquisition in 2013. Vista Outdoor expects to use the net after-tax proceeds of the sale to repay outstanding indebtedness. The transaction is expected to close within approximately 30 to 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions.
“We are now turning our efforts to the rest of our divestiture plan as previously communicated in May,” said Metz. “We are excited to build on this momentum and expect to provide further updates on this process during our first quarter earnings call in early August.”
In May, Vista Outdoor reported that the company plans to explore the divestiture of the Sports Protection brands (e.g. Bell, Giro and Blackburn), Jimmy Styks paddle boards and Savage and Stevens firearms as part of a strategic business transformation plan. The company had earlier announced plans to exit its eyewear brands.
As a result of this evaluation, Vista Outdoor will focus on achieving growth through market-leading brands in ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories, hydration bottles and packs and outdoor cooking products. Vista’s other major brands include Federal Premium, CamelBak, Bushnell, Primos, BLACKHAWK! and Bollé.
Robert W. Baird & Co. served as transaction and financial advisor and Reed Smith LLP served as legal advisor to Vista Outdoor in connection with the transaction.