Smith & Wesson Holding (SWHC) , the Paul Bunyan of gun makers, is looking to diversify, the company announced on Tuesday during an investor presentation at an industry trade show in Las Vegas.
The revelation by Springfield, Mass.-based Smith & Wesson that it is looking to acquire makers of outdoor sporting goods was reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The company would have a number of suitable candidates to choose from in the fragmented sporting goods space.
Already on the block is 5.11, a maker of apparel and tactical gear for outdoor enthusiasts. The company, backed by private equity firm TA Associates, is working with financial adviser Robert W. Baird on a sale process.
TA Associates bought a majority stake in 5.11 for $200 million in 2007, The Deal previously reported, with sources saying that sales could be more than $400 million.
Another company on the block is Black Diamond (BDE) , a maker of apparel and gear for climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing and cycling, among other outdoor pursuits.
The company is working with financial advisers Rothschild and Robert W. Baird on a process that has already seen the company jettison its Swedish ski and cycling helmet business POC for $65 million to Investcorp, as well as its Gregory Mountain Products unit for $85 million to Samsonite.
Black Diamond, a well-known brand name among fans of outdoors activities, currently has an enterprise value of $115 million, according to data provided by Bloomberg.
The publicly traded maker of everything from fish-finding sonar and GPS to Eureka! branded tents currently has a market cap of about $190 million and an enterprise value of approximately $130 million, according to data provided by Bloomberg.
Eureka! is considered the top tent brand in the U.S.
Escalade (ESCA) - Get Escalade, Incorporated Report , which is based in Evansville, Ind., may also be a potential target for Smith & Wesson. The maker of archery products currently has a market cap of close to $180 million and an enterprise value of nearly $210 million.
Escalade makes products under the names Bear Archery, Trophy Ridge, Whisker Biscuit and Cajun Archery.
Performance Sports (PSG) is another company in the space that Smith & Wesson or another consolidator of outdoor sporting goods might find attractive.
It makes a variety of goods for ice hockey, baseball and softball under brand names such as Bauer and Easton, though it may not be as synergistic in terms of outdoor activities as a Black Diamond or Johnson Outdoors.
Performance Sports has a market cap of nearly $290 million and an enterprise value of about $730 million, which might make it a bit too large for Smith & Wesson to bag.
One of the largest makers of sleeping bags and outdoors-related goods, is privately held Exxel Outdoors.
Exxel, based in Boulder, Colo., bought American Recreation Products from PE firm Sun Capital Partners in April, creating a behemoth in the world of camping.
As a result of the deal, Exxel now makes products under well-known camping brands such as Slumberjack, Wenzel, Kelty and Sierra, which could make the entity attractive to a company looking for traction in the sporting goods space.
To round out the list, industry sources have cited backpack maker Osprey Packs, based in Cortez, Colo., as a top target if it were ever to come up for sale, as it is considered a top brand among outdoor enthusiasts.
With so many choices and about $50 million in cash and debt of just a bit more than one-time projected adjusted Ebitda of about $170 million for its current fiscal year, Smith & Wesson could diversify quickly in the months and years ahead.