“Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) announced that it will hold a special meeting of stockholders on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time for the purposes of seeking approval to change its corporate name from Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation to American Outdoor Brands Corporation,” the company’s presser proclaims [via ammoland.com].
The proposed holding corporation name change has been approved by the Company’s Board of Directors and reflects the Company’s expanding strategic focus on the growing markets for shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiasts.
So Smith & Wesson’s selling rugged outdoor enthusiasts now? Could be. AOBC is the proud owner of more than a dozen companies and its appetite for acquisition isn’t sated.
James Debney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smith & Wesson, said, “By executing on our strategy to be a leader in the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast markets, we have successfully grown from a single operating division to four operating divisions that serve a large addressable market and represent more than 18 respected consumer brands . . .
Looking forward, we intend to aggressively grow organically and through strategic acquisitions, focusing on brands and products that best meet the needs and lifestyle of our target consumers.
The good news: Smith & Wesson firearms will still be sold as Smith & Wesson firearms. The bad news: the company that owns Smith & Wesson firearms — a corporate entity that was almost dragged down by a failed security business acquisition — may do a Freedom Group (now Remington Outdoors).
As I’ve said here numerous times, culture eats strategy for lunch. If, like Cerberus, American Outdoor Brands tries to create inter-brand “synergy” (i.e. cross-brand management, marketing and production integration), individual brands may lose their unique corporate cultures. And lose their way. *cough* Marlin *cough*
Here’s hoping that Smith’s holding company holds their firearms farrago together with a wise head and a pure heart. Meanwhile, we can take heart in the fact that AOB has no plans to buy an auto insurance company (despite the obvious crossover). Yet. Here’s the list of brands soon to shelter under the rugged American Outdoor Brands brand:
Smith & Wesson®
Caldwell® Shooting Supplies
Tipton® Gun Cleaning Supplies
Frankford Arsenal® Reloading Tools
Lockdown® Vault Accessories
Hooyman® Premium Tree Saws
Golden Rod® Moisture Control