Savage Arms has been Sold

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The official press release is below this shortened version, but the buyer is listed only as a “financial buyer”.  We are trying to find out who that might be.  In the meantime, this change may bring huge changes to Savage Arms’ business model in the near future.  We at Varminter, hope that the innovation that Savage Arms has brought to the firearms industry continues and eventually expands to offer even more advancement in segments that are typically ignored by other major manufacturers.

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WESTFIELD, Massachusetts – July 8, 2019 – Vista Outdoor announced today the sale of Savage Arms, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hunting rifles and shotguns, in a management led buyout to a group of investors headed by Al Kasper, the president and CEO of Savage. The press release can be found here.

“We want to thank Vista Outdoor for the support over the last six years. They invested in us and provided guidance in the transformation of the Savage brand, further developed our product portfolio allowing entry to new markets,,” said Al Kasper, Savage President and Chief Executive Officer. “Savage is an extremely strong brand and in a great position to keep charging forward.  The momentum gained under Vista Outdoor will propel us for future success.  It is business as usual and Savage is excited to continue building on existing relationships within the firearms industry.”

Savage, Stevens and Fox shotguns have been delivering innovative products for more than 125 years. In 1894, Savage forever changed the world of firearms with a commitment to a higher standard in quality. Savage has built a reputation for continuously improving firearm design while becoming the standard for accuracy and value in the industry.

“We are excited to build on the Savage legacy and are blasting into our next chapter. Here at Savage we are excited to show you what we have coming, because we are just getting our barrels warm! You’ll see more customizable platforms based on our incredibly versatile Accufit stock system, and a continued focus on making your firearm best fit your shooting and hunting needs.” said Beth Shimanski, Director of Marketing. “As we are transitioning, you’ll see more detailed information coming, with updated contacts and information.”

About Savage

Headquartered in Westfield, Massachusetts for more than 125 years, Savage is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hunting, competition and self-defense centerfire and rimfire rifles, and shotguns. Their firearms are best known for accuracy and value. The entrepreneurial spirit that originally defined the company is still evident in its ongoing focus on continuous innovations, craftsmanship, quality and service. Whether you use them for recreational or competitive shooting, self-defense or hunting, every inch of our products is designed to give you an edge. What began with Arthur Savage back in 1894, continues stronger than ever today.

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ANOKA, Minn.July 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Vista Outdoor Inc. (“Vista Outdoor”) (NYSE: VSTO) announced today that it has completed the sale of the legal entity operating its Savage Arms and Stevens firearms brands to a financial buyer for a total purchase price of $170 million, comprised of $158 million paid at closing and $12 million to be paid upon maturity of a five-year seller note issued by the buyer to Vista Outdoor in connection with the transaction.

The sale is part of Vista Outdoor’s previously announced transformation plan, which outlined the intent to reshape the company’s portfolio by cutting costs, consolidating leadership, paying down debt, and divesting certain brands, including both its eyewear brands and firearms brands, in order to pursue growth in product categories where the company believes it can be market leaders.  As the company now looks forward, the focus is on ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories, hydration bottles and packs, outdoor cooking products, and cycling/ski helmets and accessories.

“Divesting our Savage brand was a key aspect of our transformation plan,” said Chris Metz, Chief Executive Officer of Vista Outdoor. “While it was a difficult decision to sell such an iconic brand, I remain confident that this was the correct choice to help Vista Outdoor grow in those categories where we can have leadership positions. Savage is a fantastic business, and it deserves to continue to evolve into other firearms categories. At this time, however, we simply do not have the resources to transform Savage into the full-service firearms company that it deserves to be and, therefore, we determined the brand would be better off with a different owner. We’re excited to see Savage reach its full potential under new ownership.”

Savage was acquired by Vista Outdoor’s predecessor, ATK, in 2013. ATK’s sporting business – which included Savage, Bushnell, Federal and CCI Ammunition, and dozens of other hunt/shoot accessories brands, spun off in 2015 to become Vista Outdoor. 

“The Savage acquisition helped create Vista Outdoor, and we’re grateful for all the success the brand brought to our company over the past six years,” said Metz. “However, this divestiture now gives our ammunition brands flexibility to work with any industry partner to create the best products and meet our consumers’ needs.”

At closing, Vista Outdoor received gross proceeds from the divestiture of $158 million. Vista Outdoor will use the net after-tax proceeds of the sale to repay outstanding indebtedness.

“Reducing our debt is a key part of turning around our business,” said Metz. “Selling Savage and further reducing our overall leverage will improve our financial flexibility and better position the company for long-term growth. We’ve now rebuilt the company’s foundation to provide a more stable base upon which to grow. We have a portfolio of brands that all have the potential to be strong, market leaders in their respective categories and I’m proud of my team’s efforts in reshaping the portfolio over the course of the past year.”

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.

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Varminter Magazine is a free online varmint hunting magazine with articles and videos on varmint hunting, as well as full rifle, ammo and product reviews.
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