News Article

Bell, Blackburn, Giro and Other Renowned Outdoor Brands for Sale


FARMINGTON, USA – In combination with the publication of its disappointing financial report on 2017 – 2018 U.S. based Vista Outdoor Inc. announced an extensive strategic business transformation plan. It says that the listed company wants to focus on some of its market-leading brands which results in the sale of brands which are no longer regarded as core business. This applies to Bell, Blackburn and Giro as well as some others.

Bell, Blackburn, Giro and Other Renowned Outdoor Brands for Sale
Sale at Vista Outdoor of renowned names like Giro. – Photo Giro

Vista Outdoor’s ‘business transformation plan’ is the result of a comprehensive strategic review which began in November 2017. “Our review identified product categories that are core to the company’s long-term business strategy. We believe future investments should focus on categories where Vista Outdoor can achieve sustainable growth, maximize operational efficiencies, deliver leadership economics, and drive shareholder value,” says CEO Chris Metz.

‘Exploring strategic options’

As a result of this evaluation Vista Outdoor will focus on achieving growth through its market-leading brands in ammunition, hunting and shooting accessories, hydration bottles and packs (Camelbak), and outdoor cooking products. The consequence is that Vista Outdoor “plans to explore strategic options for assets that fall outside of these product categories, including its sports protection brands (e.g. Bell, Blackburn, Giro), Jimmy Styks paddle boards and Savage and Stevens firearms. 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.”

Disappointing results

The business transformation plan was announced together with the company’s disappointing fiscal year 207/18 results (ended 31 March). While sales were 9 percent down to US$ 2.3 billion (€ 1.91bn) gross profit dropped 22 percent to US$ 521million (€ 433.94m).

The financial guidance for current fiscal year 2018/19 names “an inflection point for our business, and our financial guidance reflects this reality.” According to CEO Metz “Increased commodity costs and lower volume will pressure both segments in the first half, and higher interest expense and unfavorable tax rate will pressure earnings for the full year.”

In response to these challenges, the company has taken several cost reduction actions and initiated targeted price increases. Vista will anticipate further actions if commodity pressures do not abate. “As we move through the year, we anticipate sequential, quarter-over-quarter improvements in our gross profit percentages as a result of our actions. Our strategic transformation into a consumer-focused, less complex, and more agile business will position us to unlock the true value of Vista Outdoor and its market-leading brands,” concludes CEO Chris Metz.

Comment on this article