ATK appears to be on a spending spree. Mere months after the ammunition giant purchased Savage Arms, Reuters is reporting that ATK has now purchased Bushnell – manufacturer of telescopic sights and other optical based shooting accessories. Bushnell had been owned by a private equity firm called MidOcean since 2007 and their decision to sell comes at a time when people like Michael Bloomberg are pressuring such firms to re-examine their portfolios (read: jettison all evil gun companies owned). Or it could be a case of selling at the top of the market. Either way, it looks like an attempt by ATK to build their own rival to Freedom Group’s relatively dominant position in the marketplace which should be interesting – and entertaining – to watch. And, from a consumer’s point of view, it’s excellent news — competition is a good thing . . .
The New York Post said in June that MidOcean Partners received three bids for Bushnell. Private equity firm KKR (KKR) was said to submit an offer, while another bid came in from what was described as an international outdoors company.
Several reports had indicated that MidOcean was seeking at least $1 billion.
According to Reuters, MidOcean’s decision to sell Bushnell was not influenced by any pressure to reconsider an investment in a gun-related company. Cerberus has said it is seeking a buyer for Freedom Group, which includes well-known firearms brands such as Remington, Marlin and Bushmaster.