Alliant buys Bushnell Group Holdings for $985M in cash

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 5, 2013 - 8:59 PM

The deal would add rifle scopes and night vision gear to Alliant’s sport shooting unit.

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Jorge Vargas of Alliant Techsystems unloads a hopper of shell casings. Each hopper holds 80,000 shells.

Photo: Joel Koyama, Star Tribune

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Alliant Techsystems Inc. said Thursday it would acquire Bushnell Group Holdings, which sells rifle scopes and outdoor accessories, in a cash deal worth $985 million.

Alliant, originally an aerospace and defense company that used to be based in the Twin Cities and continues to have a sizable operation here, has been expanding into commercial sport shooting.

In June, the company acquired Savage Sports Corp. to add hunting and recreational shooting gear to its offerings. Bushnell, like Savage, would become part of Alliant’s sporting group, which sells ammunition for sport shooting and law enforcement.

Bushnell, based in Overland Park, Kan., has about 1,100 employees worldwide and has been owned by MidOcean Partners, a New York private equity firm. In addition to bolstering Alliant’s sports shooting business, the Bushnell deal would allow Alliant to enter new sporting markets such as golf, snow skiing and camping, Chief Executive Mark De­Young said in a statement.

Alliant said the deal is expected to close late this year or in early 2014. The purchase price is about 10 times Bushnell’s projected 2013 earnings before taxes and other expenses. Bushnell is expected to have revenue of about $600 million this year.

Alliant said the acquisition will dilute earnings per share for its current fiscal year, which ends next March, and will be accretive to its earnings in the fiscal year ending in March 2015. It projected the acquisition would add $1 to earnings per share in the fiscal year ending in March 2016.

Alliant said it has secured a $900 million financing commitment and will pay for the acquisition with a combination of new and old financing agreements and cash on hand.

Alliant shares closed up 1 percent, or $1.13 per share, at $98.34 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Now based in Virginia, Alliant was formed in 1990 as a Honeywell spinoff and previously was based in Edina. It still has about 2,400 of its 15,000 employees in Minnesota.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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