BOZEMAN — Simms Fishing Products was reportedly acquired by Vista Outdoor Inc. on Wednesday for $192.5 million.
In a press release, Vista Outdoor Inc. announced that the gross purchase price includes a net present value of approximately $20 million in future tax benefits.
Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO) is the parent company of 39 renowned brands that design, manufacture and market sports and outdoor products to consumers around the world. Simms is a leading premium fishing brand and designer, marketer and manufacturer of waders, outerwear, footwear and technical apparel.
Based in Bozeman, Simms was founded in 1980 and acquired in 1993 by KC Walsh, its current executive chairman. Walsh’s initial vision for Simms was to create the most beloved brand in sport fishing that could marry his passion for fishing with his commitment to fisheries conservation. This vision has endured as Simms is today one of the most innovative fishing gear and apparel companies and a purpose-driven brand that resonates with consumers around the world. The company’s products are used by more than 8,500 Simms-sponsored fishing professionals and are distributed through specialty retail stores, both domestically and internationally, and directly to consumers through simmsfishing.com. Fishing continues to be a popular and highly accessible activity, with over 55 million fishing participants in the United States alone.
“Simms is the perfect fit for our diverse portfolio of iconic and leading outdoor brands,” said Chris Metz, CEO of Vista Outdoor. “Simms is expanding our core addressable market in the highly attractive fishing category with a premium, innovative brand with significant room for growth. Simms will be a central part of our long-term growth strategy and anchor of our new fishing platform within Outdoor Products Fishing, especially fly fishing, where Simms has its roots, is a natural complement to our outdoor products business and Simms serves an enthusiastic consumer population which has proven to be largely recession proof over time. With a beloved and well-known brand like Simms leading the way, we believe we can create an angling platform that serves over 55 million anglers while offering long-term growth and value for our shareholders for years to come.”
“Equally important, Simms is the right cultural fit for Vista Outdoor and our soon-to-be-created outdoor products company. Expanding conservation and access to natural waters is a mission critical for leaders and Simms employees, as we do with Vista Outdoor. We share this passion for conserving the places where we hunt, fish, hike and recreate, and look forward to applying this common ethic to lands and waters around the world. Following the separation of the Sporting and Outdoor Products segments from Vista Outdoor, Simms will enable the Outdoor Products segment to become one of the largest and most diversified outdoor recreation businesses in the industry,” concluded Metz.
According to the press statement, Simms has developed the largest network of industry guides and ambassadors and a passionate following among avid and professional anglers, who together drive brand awareness, adoption by consumers and innovation through its brand and product categories. Simms supports over 30 conservation organizations.
“Simms Fishing Products has become the most exciting brand in sport fishing, driving product innovation with our award-winning apparel, outerwear, footwear and accessories,” said Walsh. “Through our high-performance products, we encourage anglers to spend more time on the water, while advocating for healthy fishing, responsible use and clean water.
“We are thrilled to join the Vista Outdoor family of brands. It is hard to imagine a better partner for Simms. Vista Outdoor is committed to helping us build momentum through operational expertise, access to capital of growth and its supply chain and digital centers of excellence.
“The decision to locate the soon-to-be-separate Outdoor Products segment headquarters in Bozeman has made our decision even easier, as it will reinforce Simms’ made-in-Montana heritage and strong commitment to our local community. We We are also closely aligned with the Vista Outdoor Foundation’s commitment to fish and wildlife conservation and its work with veterans groups. Joining Vista Outdoor is an exciting new era for Simms and very positive for our 170 Bozeman-based employees and the thousands of Simms retailers around the world,” concludes Walsh.
Current Simms Managing Director Casey Sheahan will continue to direct Simms’ day-to-day operations, and KC Walsh will continue as a strategic advisor and conservation and government affairs advocate. Simms’ current management team and existing employee base will also remain in place.
Simms will become part of Vista Outdoor’s outdoor products segment and will be included in the new outdoor products company once the previously announced separation is complete.
Details of the proposed transaction
Vista Outdoor has agreed to pay a gross purchase price of $192.5 million, subject to certain customary closing adjustments. The gross purchase price includes a net present value of approximately $20 million in future tax benefits. Simms increased its net sales by a compound annual growth rate of approximately 15% from calendar year 2019 to 2021 and is expected to increase further in calendar year 2022. Vista Outdoor expects the transaction is accretive to earnings, excluding transaction costs. , transition costs and restocking, in Fiscal Year 2024.
Vista Outdoor plans to finance this acquisition through an existing ABL credit facility. Vista Outdoor expects to close the transaction in the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Following the closing of this transaction, Vista Outdoor’s leverage ratio is expected to be approximately 1.6x, well below its target leverage ratio of one to two times. Vista Outdoor expects to reduce its leverage to approximately 1.5x by the end of fiscal 2023. Additionally, following the closing of this transaction, Vista Outdoor does not anticipate any additional significant acquisitions prior to separation.
Robert W. Baird & Co. served as financial advisor and Perkins Coie LLP served as legal advisor to Simms Fishing Products.
Reed Smith LLP acted as legal counsel to Vista Outdoor in connection with the transaction.
For more information about Simms and the definitive agreement, please view the Simms presentation and Simms infographic by visiting http://investors.vistaoutdoor.com/event.
Vista Outdoor expects to release its first quarter fiscal 2023 financial results on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. EDT, which is earlier than previously announced given the quarter’s dual announcements.
In addition to the first quarter fiscal 2023 results, which will be posted on Vista Outdoor’s website, the company plans to discuss its outlook and financial direction and may discuss strategy matters during the conference call on the results to be held on Thursday 28 July. , 2022, at 9:00 a.m. EDT, as previously communicated.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.