Vista Plans to Split Outdoor, Sporting Segments Into 2 Public Companies

Vista Plans to Split Outdoor, Sporting Segments Into 2 Public Companies
(Vista Outdoor)

Vista Outdoor Inc. of Anoka, Minnesota, plans to separate its outdoor products and sporting products segments into two independent, publicly traded companies by the end of 2023.

Both will have a significant presence and physical footprint in Arkansas, Spokesman Eric Smith told Arkansas Business early Friday.

Vista has owned and more than doubled employment to approximately 1,100 at the Remington ammunition factory in Lonoke since purchasing it in October 2020. That would be part of the new sporting products company.

It also has a wood pellet-making, Fiber Energy-branded operation in Mountain View and a distribution center in Bryant for Camp Chef and e-bike brand QuietKat. Vista has a small sales and support staff based in Bentonville, for its Walmart account as well. All these would be part of the new outdoor products company.

Smith said all the Arkansas locations are already operated independently from one another and that Vista is in the early stages of the separation process, so more details on how this will affect its Arkansas operations are not yet available.

The company expects to accomplish the separation through a tax-free spin-off of its outdoor products segment, with the transaction taking the form of a distribution to its shareholders of 100% of the stock of the new outdoor products company.

Following the separation, the outdoor products segment will be renamed and headquartered in Bozeman, Montana. It will comprise brands including CamelBak, Bell, Giro, Camp Chef, Bushnell, Bushnell Golf, Foresight Sports, Stone Glacier and QuietKat. The outdoor products company will also house Vista’s Centers of Excellence.

The sporting products company will comprise the brands Federal, Remington, CCI, Speer, Estate Cartridge and HEVI-Shot.

Vista Outdoor CEO Chris Metz will continue in that capacity at the outdoor products company following the split. Sudhanshu Priyadarshi will serve as its chief financial officer.

Jason Vanderbrink — who has been leading the sporting products segment as its president — will be appointed CEO of the sporting products company that will also be renamed. It will be headquartered in Anoka.

The company expects the separation to provide:

  • Enhanced strategic focus with supporting resources
  • Tailored capital allocation priorities
  • Strengthened ability to attract and retain top talent
  • A differentiated and compelling investment opportunity more valuable to shareholders. Vista Outdoor said it expects the new companies to be better positioned to be more appropriately valued by the market.
  • Expanded strategic opportunities. The company expects the new outdoor products company to further cement its reputation as an acquirer of choice and the sporting products to secure attractive partnerships with other manufacturers.

"Over the past few years, we've made significant progress executing on our strategy to grow our leading portfolio of brands, driving operational efficiencies and delivering value to our shareholders," Metz said in a news release. "As a result of our efforts, we have built strong businesses that are well-positioned for continued growth and success as independent companies.”

He also said the company believes this move will deliver long-term value for shareholders, employees, customers and other stakeholders. 

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