Weeks of industry rumors have proven true, and the following press release from American Outdoor Brands Corporation, parent company of Smith and Wesson, came across TTAG’s blotter yesterday (though the news was made public late last week). The short version: AOBC has purchased Gemini Technologies, Inc., AKA GEMTECH. The full press release plus a look at how the market reacted (AOBC is publicly-traded) follows . . .
Smith & Wesson Corp. to Acquire Gemini Technologies
Asset Acquisition Will Add Leading Suppressor Brand to Smith & Wesson Firearms Platform
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., July 5, 2017 — American Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: AOBC), a leading manufacturer of firearms and a provider of quality accessory products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast, today announced that its firearms business, Smith & Wesson Corp., has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Gemini Technologies, Incorporated (“Gemtech”), a provider of high quality suppressors and accessories for the consumer, law enforcement, and military markets.
James Debney, President and CEO of American Outdoor Brands, said, “Gemtech is widely recognized for producing some of the finest rifle and pistol suppressors in the market. Gemtech’s strong product development capabilities, combined with our experience in brand management and our manufacturing expertise, will help us to efficiently develop both firearms and suppressors, minimizing our time to market for both product categories. We view this acquisition as opportunistic, allowing us to enter the suppressor category, which resonates strongly with our core firearm consumer, at a time when the market is particularly soft. These elements combine to make Gemtech an excellent fit with our long term strategy.”
The company intends to complete the acquisition of Gemtech utilizing cash on hand and expects the transaction to close this summer. Ron Martinez, President of Gemtech, will continue in his leadership role as General Manager, heading up thecompany’s strong team located in Eagle, Idaho.
About Gemini Technologies, Incorporated
Gemini Technologies, known as Gemtech, began as a group of leading designers with roots in the suppressor business going back to 1976. Gemtech’s world-class suppressors are in use with all branches of the U.S. military and are also in use by many special operations forces, military, and police around the world. Based in Eagle, Idaho, Gemtech is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 certified company and maintains effective rigorous quality assurance systems and processes. For more information visit Gemtech online at https://gemtech.com.
About American Outdoor Brands Corporation
American Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: AOBC) is a provider of quality products for shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiasts in the global consumer and professional markets. The company reports two segments: Firearms and Outdoor Products & Accessories. Firearms manufactures handgun and long gun products sold under the Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, and Thompson/Center Arms™ brands as well as provides forging, machining, and precision plastic injection molding services. Outdoor Products & Accessories provides shooting, hunting, and outdoor accessories, including reloading, gunsmithing, and gun cleaning supplies, tree saws, vault accessories, knives, laser sighting systems, tactical lighting products, and survival and camping equipment. Brands in Outdoor Products & Accessories include Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, Thompson/Center Arms™, Crimson Trace®, Caldwell® Shooting Supplies, Wheeler® Engineering, Tipton® Gun Cleaning Supplies, Frankford Arsenal® Reloading Tools, Lockdown® Vault Accessories,Hooyman® Premium Tree Saws, BOG POD®, Golden Rod® Moisture Control, Schrade®, Old Timer®, Uncle Henry®, UST™, and Imperial™. For more information on American Outdoor Brands Corporation, call (844) 363-5386 or log on to www.aob.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed to be forward-looking statements under federal securities laws, and we intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor created thereby. Such forward-looking statements include the timing and completion of our acquisition of Gemtech; our belief that the acquisition ofGemtech allows us to enter the suppressor category and furthers our long term strategy of becoming the leading provider of quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast; and our expectation of operating synergies. We caution that these statements are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include the demand for our products; matters; the state of the U.S. economy in general and the firearm industry in particular; general economic conditions and consumer spending patterns; the potential for increased regulation of firearms and firearm-related products; speculation surrounding fears of terrorism and crime; our anticipated growth and growth opportunities; our ability to increase demand for our products in various markets, including consumer, law enforcement, and military channels, domestically and internationally; the position of our hunting products in the consumer discretionary marketplace and distribution channel; our penetration rates in new and existing markets; our strategies; our ability to introduce new products; the success of new products; our ability to expand our markets; our ability to integrate acquired businesses in a successful manner; the general growth of our firearm accessories business; the potential for cancellation of orders from our backlog; and other risks detailed from time to time in our reports filed with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2017.
Looking at the five-day chart, the initial market reaction hasn’t been positive. That’s somewhat surprising as despite a sales slump since the election, due primarily to folks hoping and waiting the Hearing Protection Act will pass, the suppressor market has been growing rapidly in the consumer sector for many years.
In 2008, there were 18,000 total silencers sold commercially in the U.S., whereas SilencerCo alone was selling about 18,000 every month in the first half of 2016. In 2005 there were 14,606 ATF Form 4 applications. In 2015, that number was 130,017. On top of that, GEMTECH continues to land government contracts at home and abroad.
One can only wonder how this “full bull” article on Seeking Alpha (a strong “buy” recommendation for AOBC, published on June 30) would have changed were it written after the acquisition announcement. We’ll keep an eye out for the follow-up.