Battenfeld Technologies Inc., the Accessories division of firearms giant Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, will pay $85.0 million in cash for Taylor Brands LLC, a designer and distributor of knives and specialty tools. The move is seen as an important addition to Smith & Wesson’s hunting and outdoor utility knife portfolio. This is notable because the manufacturer has drawn significant profits from its firearms product lines over recent quarters: Smith & Wesson makes the best-selling handguns and sport rifles in the U.S. market.
Smith & Wesson shares have been trading nearly 75% higher, year-on-year, and last month it reported fourth-quarter 2015 earnings would exceed forecasts.
The purchase will be financed from cash on hand, according to Smith & Wesson, and will close the transaction within six week, according to EVP/CFO Jeffrey D. Buchanan.
Taylor Brands is a long-standing licensee for both Smith & Wesson and M&P branded knives, and is the proprietor of several well-regarded brands of knives, including Schrade, Uncle Henry, Old Timer, and Imperial. It operates a 160,000-sq.ft. manufacturing plant in Kingsport, Tenn.
Morgan Taylor, president, said the knife and tool designer would benefit from Smith & Wesson’s distribution network and product development processes.
"Taylor Brands provides us with an ideal opportunity to further deliver on an important element of our strategic plan, which is to grow our Accessories Division by expanding into adjacent and complementary markets,” explained Smith & Wesson president and CEO James Debney.
Debney added that Taylor Brands recent sales improvements are in line with the group’s current Accessories division. “We believe that these newly added product lines will benefit synergistically from the product innovation, distribution network, and efficient sourcing model that have contributed to the success of our Accessories division … Today's announcement moves us closer to our vision, which is to become the leading provider of quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast."
Morgan Taylor, President of Taylor Brands, said, "We are proud that the company my family founded in 1975 has grown to become a leading and highly regarded knife and tool provider. We look forward to achieving our next level of growth and continuing to serve our loyal customers as part of Smith & Wesson and with the benefit of Battenfeld Technologies' extensive distribution network and product development processes."