Vista Out of doors to Break up Into Two Corporations


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As of next year, Vista Outdoor as we know it will no longer exist. The parent company of CamelBak, Giro and Camp Chef announced today that it will spin off its outdoor and “sporting” segments – meaning ammunition – into separate companies in 2023. Chris Metz, Vista’s current CEO, will lead the outdoor business after the split; Jason Vanderbrink, the current president of sporting products, will assume the position of chief executive of the ammunition business. Both companies will be listed on the stock exchange and renamed after the split.

According to a press release released today, the decision was made by Vista’s board of directors, who unanimously approved the split. “After a thorough evaluation of Vista Outdoor’s businesses, operations and value creation opportunities, the board determined that a spin-off of the outdoor products business would unlock significant value,” the company said Michael Callahanthe company’s chairman, in the press release.

Read more: What outdoor nonprofits need to know about Vista’s new foundation

Metz added, “As a result of the separation, our Outdoor Products and Sporting Products businesses will have resources, management teams and capital allocation priorities tailored to their respective strategic objectives. We are confident that this increased focus will better enable each company to create long-term value for its shareholders, employees, customers and other stakeholders.”

The move comes at a moment of sales strength for Vista. During a earnings conference call this morning, the company reported healthy growth for its fiscal year 2022 (FY22), which ended March 31. According to Metz and others on the conference call, sales in Vista’s sporting products business increased 55 percent in fiscal 22, along with outdoor products up 18 percent.

“The fourth quarter was our seventh consecutive quarter of record-breaking financial results,” said Metz on the call. “Underlying demand in outdoor recreation remains strong despite the current macroeconomic headwinds, and we enter fiscal 2023 with positive momentum, from our balance sheet to our leverage to our high-performing brand portfolio.”

Read more: Vista Outdoor Acquires Two Companies Including An E-Bike Brand

In addition to “unlocking value” across the company’s two businesses, the move will also remove the group’s outdoor brands from their hunting assets. After the 2018 Parkland shootings, retailers REI and MEC stopped ordering Vista products because the company owns a firearms manufacturer. Vista sold that brand, Savage Arms, and eventually REI welcomed them back. Still, the boycott by the country’s largest outdoor retail chain caused ripples throughout the industry. “REI does not sell guns,” the company said in a statement at the time. While today’s announcement made no mention of the temporary break with REI, Metz told OBJ last year that the importance of having a good relationship with REI goes “beyond” sales. “It’s more about the halo effect that REI gives to our brands,” Metz said.

Vista concluded today’s announcement with a healthy dose of optimism about the future of the two new companies. Regarding the outdoor business, the company expects that the new company will “serve consumers across a variety of categories that are growing rapidly, which is an estimate 30 billion dollars Domestic market at its core and immediately adjacent end markets, with an estimated total global addressable market of over 100 billion dollars.”