MidOcean-Backed Bushnell Shoots For Another Add-On

Huntington Beach. CA, August 27, 2008 - MidOcean Partners LLP-backed sports-optics company Bushnell Outdoor Products Inc. has acquired Millett Industries Inc. from the Millett family.

The deal size was under $50 million, according to Bushnell Vice President of Marketing Phil Gyori, who declined to disclose the exact price. Executives at MidOcean did not return calls for comment.

The deal is set to close within the next month, according to a press release.

Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Millett sells high-end optics for sporting, tactical and law enforcement firearms. The company’s core products include rings and bases used to mount scopes to rifles, as well as the rifle scopes themselves.

Bushnell, based in Overland Park, Kan., sells outdoor accessories including binoculars and navigation systems targeting the recreational, hunting and shooting sectors.

Millett’s scope ring and base devices will supplement Bushnell’s product line, which lacks those accessories, said Gyori. Millett’s rifle scopes are also complementary because they’re positioned at a higher end in the shooting and tactical niche marketplace, he added.

The average scope at Bushnell runs from $100 to $200, while those at Millett retail in the $600 to $800 range, with some going for over $2000, Gyori said. Scope rings and bases typically cast $10; Mlllett sells them for around $20.

Bushnell, which generates 35% of its revenue from international sales in Europe, Canada and Australia, plans to leverage Millett’s sales and distribution network in the U.S. and expand business to South America, according to Gyori, who said that it is a “relatively small“ company compared to Bushnell.

Millett will retain many of its key managers, according to Gyori, who added that Bushnell will continue to actively pursue add-on deals.

The deal marks the second add-on Bushnell has done since its acquisition by MidOcean in 2007 in a secondary buyout from Wind Point Partners. Bushnell bought the Simmons brand and other assets of Simmons Outdoor Corp. from Meade Instruments Corp for $7.25 million in June.

MidOcean closed MidOcean Partners III LP above $1.25 billion in late 2007.

Reach MidOcean at 212-497-1400.

Bushnell Outdoor Products, through its owner, MidOcean Partners, will buy Millett Industries for an undisclosed amount.

Overland Park-based Bushnell said the transaction is expected to close within 30 days.

Millett Industries, based in Huntington Beach, Calif, offers scopes and mounting systems for sporting, tactical and law enforcement applications.

“Millett enjoys a strong brand equity and customer loyalty for their rings, bases and recently expanded line of optics, particularly on the tactical and law enforcement side of the business, which will compliment and strengthen our existing lines,” Bushnell CEO Joe Messner said in a release.

David Basto, a principal at MidOcean Partners, said in the release that the two companies share a reputation for quality and value. He said the acquisition of Millett fits with the goal of expanding Bushnell through strategic acquisitions.

MidOcean, with offices in New York and London, bought Bushnell in July 2007.

About MidOcean

MidOcean Partners is a premier New York-based alternative asset manager specializing in middle-market private equity and alternative credit investments. Since its inception in 2003, MidOcean Private Equity has targeted investments in high-quality middle-market companies in the consumer and business services sectors. MidOcean Credit was launched in 2009 and currently manages a series of alternative credit strategies, collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), and customized separately managed accounts.

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