Vista Outdoor’s financial report for the fourth quarter (ending March 31, 2018) announced the company has completed an exhaustive inventory of its assets and is implementing a new strategic business transformation plan—chartering a course that includes exploring opportunities to divest itself of a number of brands, including gunmakers Savage Arms and Stevens.
“Our review identified product categories that are core to the company’s long-term business strategy,” said Vista Outdoor Chief Executive Officer Chris Metz. “We believe future investment should focus on categories where Vista Outdoor can achieve sustainable growth, maximize operational efficiencies, deliver leadership economics, and drive shareholder value.”
“The company plans to explore strategic options for assets that fall outside of these product categories, including its remaining Sports Protection brands (e.g. Bell, Giro, and Blackburn), Jimmy Styks paddle boards, and Savage and Stevens firearms,” the quarterly report explains. “Vista Outdoor expects that the execution of this process will significantly reduce the company's leverage, improve financial flexibility and the efficiency of its capital structure, and provide additional resources to reinvest in core product categories, both organically and through acquisition.”
Investors were informed late last year Vista was will to part with some of a few of its companies by a Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In it, Metz stated, “…we are announcing our intention to sell the Bollé, Serengeti and Cébé brands in the Sports Protection business. These brands were acquired as part of the Bushnell transaction in 2013 and focus primarily on fashion, prescription and safety eyewear, which are areas that we have determined are not core to our business.”In an earnings call on Tuesday, Metz explained, “The bottom line is this: The company grew too fast and beyond its core, the portfolio became too diverse, and the pressures mounted…We were too slow to make adjustments, and the ones we did make didn’t have enough of an impact to right the ship.”
For more analysis and information on the new Vista Outdoor strategy, see this column from American Rifleman Editor-in-Chief Mark Keefe.