Czechoslovak Group announces $1.9bn acquisition of Vista Outdoor’s sporting products

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In a significant move in the defense industry, the Czechoslovak Group (CSG) has disclosed a definitive agreement, marking its intent to buy Vista Outdoor Inc.’s Sporting Products enterprise for a comprehensive value of $1.91 billion. This acquisition, based on 5x Fiscal Year 2024E EBITDA including predicted standalone expenses, propels CSG in its commitment to foster the growth trajectory of the Sporting Products business in upcoming years.

Vista Outdoor: A Dominant Force in the U.S. Ammunition Market

Residing in Anoka, Minnesota, Vista Outdoor’s Sporting Products division stands as a paramount ammunition manufacturer catering to U.S. commercial and law enforcement audiences. The establishment flaunts a workforce of roughly 4,000 across its four American production facilities, and prides itself in owning preeminent ammunition brands such as CCI, Federal, and Remington.

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CSG’s Global Industrial Footprint and Acquisition Strategy

Originating from Prague, Czech Republic, CSG thrives as an eminent industrial technology organization, operational across sectors like Defense and Aerospace. Under the leadership of Michal Strnad, CSG has grown as an influential Czech industrial conglomerate with extensive international reach, employing over 10,000 individuals globally. The intended acquisition of Vista Outdoor’s business stands as the pinnacle in CSG’s acquisition timeline, after its earlier acquisition of Fiocchi Munizioni in 2022 and is touted as the grandest in Czech defense history.

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The closure of this transaction is anticipated by 2024, contingent upon factors like shareholder endorsement and necessary regulatory green lights. Post-finalization, Sporting Products will transition into a fully-owned CSG subsidiary, maintaining its primary operations in Anoka, Minnesota. Jason Vanderbrink will persist as the CEO of the Sporting Products segment.

Michal Strnad expressed, “This transaction perfectly fits with our strategy of expanding the key pillars of our business. I am proud that our company and the Czech defense industry managed to realize the most significant Czech investment in the U.S. market to date…” David Štěpán, another key figure from CSG, emphasized the significance of the acquisition in positioning CSG as a global leader in ammunition manufacturing.

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Gary McArthur and Jason Vanderbrink, from Vista Outdoor, echoed the strategic importance and potential success of the acquisition.

Advisory Roles in the Acquisition

Leading the acquisition financing, J.P. Morgan stands as the solitary financial advisor to the Czechoslovak Group, with Clifford Chance LLP rendering legal counsel. Conversely, Vista Outdoor has enlisted Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC for financial advisement and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP for legal guidance.

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