The American company, which produces binoculars, rangefinders, GPS devices and owns important brands of sunglasses and sports eyewear such as Bollé and Cébé, is accepting bids until the end of this week for the takeover of the company. Bushnell Outdoor Products' shareholders are reportedly seeking a valuation of as much as $1 billion for the company, which had sales of less than $500 million in 2010 according to the most recent financial information in our possession.
One of the three candidates for the acquisition is reported to be KKR, the private equity firm that owns Academy Sports, but it is willing to spend no more than $800 million, unless it can get a pre-arranged financing package, according to The New York Post. The present round of bids is managed by Morgan Stanley and RW Baird.
Different private equity companies have invested in Bushnell over the years. The last buyout took place in 2007, when MidOcean Partners acquired control over the former Bushnell Performance Optics from Windpoint Partners, who supported a management buyout in 1999. They and two former managers, Joe Messmer and Arnaud van Robais, made a big capital gain when MidOcean stepped in. The company's annual sales had grown by then to about $350 million. The more recent growth has been partly generated through small acquisitions. The most recent ones were those of Primos Hunting, Night Optics USA and Gold Tip.