Earlier today, Vista Outdoor announced plans
to sell Bell, Giro and Blackburn, as well as their other sports protection brands. They are also selling Jimmy Styks paddle boards, Savage Arms, and Stevens firearms, focusing their business on ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories, hydration bottles and packs, and outdoor cooking products.
"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 says the plan is a result of a comprehensive strategic review, which began in November 2017 when new CEO Chris Metz joined the company, and is not a result of recent boycotts of Bell, Giro, Blackburn, and Camelbak by consumers
over Vista's involvement with the NRA. Following the boycotts, REI, MEC and other independent retailers stopped ordering Vista Outdoor owned cycling products, but Metz mentioned in today's earnings call that this was this boycott did not affect the bottom line of Vista Outdoors.
"This transformation plan is a significant first step toward creating a portfolio of brands that is laser-focused on our target consumer and leverages the strengths of our combined platform," said Metz. "This renewed focus will allow us to invest in these categories and their natural adjacencies. Coupled with our previously announced sales and marketing reorganization to drive a founder's mentality back into our brands, this strategic orientation will also allow us to accelerate our efforts to expand e-commerce capabilities and increase our emphasis on market-leading product innovation. The end result will be a Vista Outdoor that lives up to the potential envisioned three years ago when the company was formed."
The announcement comes a mere two years after Vista Outdoor bought Bell, Giro, Blackburn and C-Preme
from BRG Sports in 2016 for $400 million, after becoming an independent public company one year earlier. Vista will begin reshaping their portfolio of brands immediately and anticipates all potential transactions to be made by the end of fiscal year 2020.
There is no buyer currently lined up and SVP of Communications & Government Relations at Vista Outdoor Inc. Amanda Covington says that Vista Outdoor will "take the time necessary to both realize an attractive value and to ensure the right partner." She added that, "For all of our employees, we continue to operate business as usual."
Camelbak is not currently on the list of brands that will be sold.
The slides from the recent Vista Outdoor Earnings Conference Call are available here