As I noted just prior to this year's Archery Trade Show, the level of deal-making in the outdoor industry seems to be at an all-time high. Consolidation is happening fast, and investors behind some of hunting's biggest brands are moving aggressively to expand their product portfolios by gobbling up competitors and/or complementary businesses.
The latest such announcement in the archery world came late Friday afternoon, when Bushnell announced it had acquired Gold Tip arrows of Orem, Utah. During Bushnell's new product press conference at the SHOT Show last month, company executives said they viewed the archery market as a key growth area for the company moving forward, and the Gold Tip deal is a major step in that direction. The deal also continues a pattern of rapid expansion for Bushnell, which acquired leading game call and hunting accessory maker Primos last year.
From a bowhunting perspective, I find the deal quite interesting. Gold Tip has had a solid reputation for making quality products for years, but their distribution and marketing efforts have lagged significantly behind larger players such as Easton and Carbon Express. The merger with Bushnell should allow the Gold Tip brand to tap into additional financial resources that will allow it to more aggressively grow market share. My guess is that in the months and years ahead, bowhunting consumers will be seeing a lot more from the Gold Tip brand in terms of advertising and more prominent placement in pro shops and large outdoor retailers such as Cabela's and Bass Pro.
For those interested in a little more information about the deal, I have pasted the official Bushnell press release below:
Bushnell Outdoor Products , a worldwide leader in sports optics and outdoor accessories, and MidOcean Partners, a leading middle market private equity fund, today announced Bushnell has acquired arrow and archery product manufacturer Gold Tip, based in Orem, Utah. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1989, Gold Tip is a leading manufacturer of arrows and archery products for target archery and bow and crossbow hunting. Widely regarded as the maker of the most durable and accurate carbon arrows in the industry, Gold Tip also produces the Bee Stinger line of premium bow stabilizers.
"The archery market continues to be an area of focus and growth for Bushnell Outdoor Products, and adding the Gold Tip and Bee Stinger brands to the family will further strengthen our position in the industry and appeal with the hunting and archery customer," said Blake Lipham, Bushnell Outdoor Products president and CEO.
Gold Tip has built a loyal following among customers with its high-performing and incredibly accurate archery products. The remarkable performances by the Gold Tip pro staff at archery competitions over the past two years have provided the brand with an added lift. Now, with an expanded distribution footprint and additional marketing vehicles available through Bushnell Outdoor Products, the Gold Tip and Bee Stinger brands are well-positioned for continued success.
"I am very proud of what our team at Gold Tip has accomplished. We've combined our passions for hunting and competition archery with our work, leading to the development of some of the best archery products in the industry," said Mitch McKay, Gold Tip director of sales. "Joining the Bushnell family gives us an exciting opportunity to build on our foundation and expand our success."
MidOcean Partners acquired Bushnell in August 2007, and has added several complementary brands to the company's portfolio, including acquisitions of Millett and Simmons in 2008, Night Optics USA in 2011 and Primos in 2012.