Vista Outdoor has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the legal entities operating its Bollé, Cébé and Serengeti brands to an entity controlled by a ‘significant European private equity fund’. Further details on the new PE-backed ownership entity were not disclosed.
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 its core product categories of ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories, hydration bottles and packs, and outdoor cooking products.
Back in May, Vista confirmed plans to explore strategic options for assets that fall outside of its core product categories. This includes a potential disposal of its remaining sports protection brands such as Bell, Giro, and Blackburn, as well as Jimmy Styks paddle boards.
“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 US$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 original 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.”
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.