Alliant Techsystems, ATK, aerospace and defense contractor, is working to buy Bushnell Outdoor Products from the MidOcean Partners private equity firm. The transaction is estimated to be worth roughly $1 billion.
This could mark another high-profile acquisition by ATK this year, as just a short while ago the gun industry giant added the Caliber Company, which includes Savage Arms, to their family.
The transaction is currently being negotiated. MidOcean has only held Bushnell for the past few years of the firm’s 65-year history. Bushnell has been a leader in optics including riflescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes, night vision equipment and laser rangefinders.
If this deal goes through ATK will be able to introduce some very interesting scoped rifle packages; Savage is already a go-to brand for shooters of all types, and if they start pairing their firearms with Bushnell optics then they will offer customers a very compelling product.
ATK has several business branches that make everything from rocket motors to holsters, so Bushnell would fit right in. ATK Sporting owns such brands as Alliant Powder, BLACKHAWK!, Buck Commander and Duck Commander, Champion, Gunslick Pro, Eagle Industries, Force on Force, Outers, RCBS and Weaver.
Reuters reports that the sale is not the result of outside pressure. Recently, anti-gun groups have turned their focus on investment firms that hold interest in the small arms industry, pushing them to dump their shares despite the massive gains these companies have been making this year.
Bushnell just recently introduced the AR Optics product line that includes six new affordable riflescopes that range in configuration from two new 1-4x scopes for close target acquisition to a 4.5-18x scope designed for extended range shooting. These scopes are marketed towards the explosive AR-15 market, which has rapidly become the most popular firearm in the U.S.
The company has also capitalized on the zombie phenomenon with their undead-grade optics.
Bushnell would be a welcome addition to ATK’s passel of sporting and self-defense companies, really a perfect fit. However, it should be noted that there are thought to be two other companies interested in Bushnell for themselves.
The New York Post reports that the other interested parties are KKR and “an international outdoor company.”