Vista Outdoors Putting Savage Arms Up for Sale

Vista owns many brands that you may be familiar with, including Federal Premium, Savage, Fox, Stevens, Bushnell, RCBS, Night Optics, among others.

Vista Outdoors announced Tuesday that it is considering putting Savage Arms up for sale as part of a “strategic business transformation plan.”

“Our review identified product categories that are core to the company’s long-term business strategy,” said Vista Outdoor Chief Executive Officer Chris Metz.

“We believe future investment should focus on categories where Vista Outdoor can achieve sustainable growth, maximize operational efficiencies, deliver leadership economics, and drive shareholder value,” he continued.

Apparently, Savage Arms isn’t one of those core categories.  Along with Jimmy Styks paddle boards and Bell bike helmets, as well as a few other brands, Savage and Stevens would be on the chopping block.

The company believes that by offloading these categories, aka exploring “strategic options” for them, it will “significantly reduce the company’s leverage, improve financial flexibility and the efficiency of its capital structure, and provide additional resources to reinvest in core product categories, both organically and through acquisition.”

SEE ALSO: No, Remington’s Bankruptcy Has Nothing to Do with Anti-Gun Protests

While it may be giving up Savage, Vista Outdoors does not plan to altogether leave the gun biz.  The company said that it will focus on ammo manufacturing, presumably with its Federal Premium brand.

“Vista Outdoor is excited about the potential of each of our core businesses, particularly ammunition, which is our largest core business.” said Metz.

“An increased focus on our heritage ammunition business will manifest itself in more innovative and breakthrough new products introduced over the next few years,” Metz added.  “We also anticipate that by prioritizing this business, we will be able to invest more capital to further enhance and expand our global leadership position.”

News of this announcement caused Vista’s stock to fall 17 percent to $13.85, according to Bloomberg News.  That’s the biggest single-day drop for Vista since Nov. 9.

***Shop GunsAmerica today for a new Savage rifle***

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 38 comments… add one }
  • JCitizen May 7, 2018, 12:02 am

    I don’t know enough about Vista, but I know Savage has been the best dang huntin’ rifle I’ve ever used!! Bar none – and the price was right too!

  • sdsmithman May 6, 2018, 2:29 pm

    What a joke! This is what happens when a board of directors, who are quite obviously morons fire a gun guy and hire a guy who made black and decker worse as a brand! Then they bow to the likes of REI and other left wing nutjobs??? Fuck them, and Fuck REI!

    • Xavier May 9, 2018, 1:37 pm

      Like I said below, maybe you ought to do a little research of your own, let alone use some common sense. Have you been to the website and checked out the management team and the board members? Probably not. the old CEO may have been a “gun guy” maybe, but he clearly didn’t know how to do acquisitions or run a business. Looks to me like the chairman has a lot of industry background since he worked at Cabela”s. Look at some of the press releases from the last two years. Look at the stock performance. Look at the debt ratios. The company is in trouble BECAUSE of their fired “gun guy” CEO. Believe what you want. You must be related to their old “gun guy” CEO and obviously don’t have even the slightest financial knowledge or literacy. If whoever runs your 401-k invested in companies like Vista the last couple of years you wouldn’t have any retirement left. Just gotta ask who is really the nut job here? Hint: Take a look in the mirror.

  • Xavier May 5, 2018, 10:28 pm

    What a bunch of clueless idiots some of you are! If you did a little research you would see that Vista has been struggling for over a year now, since the elections of 2016. Trump won and gun sales went in the toilet. Gander Mtn went bankrupt and ALL of the gun manufactures lost sales because of that. Then Vista made some really stupid purchases like Jimmy Styes Paddleboards, Bell helmets, Giro (who apparently makes bike and snow skiing helmets), etc. None of them have anything to do with hunting or shooting. Then they bought Camelbak and paid waaaay too much for them. If the rest of you guys were as smart as you think you are, you could see that they just got into financial trouble because of slow sales and too much debt. They fired their CEO and CFO a few months ago and got the new guy who got put into a tough position from the get go having to try and save a floundering company. So think about it you idiots, they still have Federal, CCI, Speer, Primos, Blackhawk, and a whole bunch of some of the best known brands in the business. Do you honestly believe their anti-2A? Really? I was at the NRA show this week and they still had the biggest booth in the place and were still showing Savage, including their AR’s. I talked to a couple of guys there and they said they’re absolutely NOT getting out of shooting or hunting. Sounds like they need some cash to pay down debt and invest in their ammo factories. One of them told me that their Chairman of the Board is a NRA Life Member and as pro-gun as there is and was at the show hobnobbing with all of the big boys from NRA and the other big manufactures. Do you think someone like that would show up and be visible if something sneaky was going down? Please! Use your heads a little boys instead of gossiping like a bunch of bitchy old women that know nothing about what they’re talking about. Your no better than a lot of the little snow flakes out there just looking for a chance, any chance, to badmouth and boycott somebody. Shame on you! You all have computers. Do just a little research and think for yourselves before believing every little rumor that comes along. Shame on you! I for one have used products from almost all of their brands since I was a kid and I’m not going to let the fact that some of their former executives screwed up big tim,e and who should probably be in jail, stop me from buying the stuff I always have.

  • Roy Spencer May 5, 2018, 1:03 pm

    Guns like the AR-15 get up in the morning, stretch , yawn, scratch their butt, have a cup of coffee, and then go down to their local school or workplace and start shooting people. If not guns it\’s knives, trucks , whatever…
    When are people going to realize–it\’s people? Those young students protesting against gun rights are being taught–\”What to think, Not how to think.\” It is the biggest cornerstone problem we have in our education system today! 99.99999% of gun owners are law abiding citizens but you get one \”nut\” who goes off and shoots and kills a dozen people and they want to bring everybody\’s rights down to the lowest common denominator! The one world control democrats/socialist stir up students or whomever to take away your guns because guns and free speech are the only things that stand in their way. It was no coincidence that the 1st amendment was followed by the 2nd.amendment. This country was founded by geniuses and now run by idiots–who were taught what to think, not how to think. Nice huh?

  • Roy Spencer May 5, 2018, 1:02 pm

    Guns like the AR-15 get up in the morning, stretch , yawn, scratch their butt, have a cup of coffee, and then go down to their local school or workplace and start shooting people. If not guns it’s knives, trucks , whatever…
    When are people going to realize–it’s people? Those young students protesting against gun rights are being taught–“What to think, Not how to think.” It is the biggest cornerstone problem we have in our education system today! 99.99999% of gun owners are law abiding citizens but you get one “nut” who goes off and shoots and kills a dozen people and they want to bring everybody’s rights down to the lowest common denominator! The one world control democrats/socialist stir up students or whomever to take away your guns because guns and free speech are the only things that stand in their way. It was no coincidence that the 1st amendment was followed by the 2nd.amendment. This country was founded by geniuses and now run by idiots–who were taught what to think, not how to think. Nice huh?

  • Stacy May 4, 2018, 8:49 pm

    Vista owns a lot of familiar company’s its pretty sad.

    https://vistaoutdoor.com/brands/

  • craig gardner May 4, 2018, 6:20 pm

    I call BS. I think they are scared that we might lose our gun rights. Then their company is worth nothing. So they want to sell now.

  • Winston May 4, 2018, 6:12 pm

    “Our review identified product categories that are core to the company’s long-term business strategy,” said Vista Outdoor Chief Executive Officer Chris Metz.

    “We believe future investment should focus on categories where Vista Outdoor can achieve sustainable growth, maximize operational efficiencies, deliver leadership economics, and drive shareholder value,” he continued.

    The company believes that by offloading these categories, aka exploring “strategic options” for them, it will “significantly reduce the company’s leverage, improve financial flexibility and the efficiency of its capital structure, and provide additional resources to reinvest in core product categories, both organically and through acquisition.”

    This is what is called Make Bull Sheet.

  • Mack Lack May 4, 2018, 4:59 pm

    This Vista Outdoors CEO is terrible. His timing was awful and over-paid for Savage Arms. They could not turn a profit at the height of the Obama era paranoia on guns & ammo, much less now.

  • Orange Dust May 4, 2018, 4:33 pm

    This is how the Swamp works folks. REI puts pressure on Vista. They cave and say they will no longer make firearms. Then they announce later the same day that their company (Federal) is awarded the FBI contract for practice ammo. Nothing to see here, move along, memorize their brands and think twice about buying their products. They have some good ones too. What a shame.

  • bob May 4, 2018, 4:25 pm

    savage priced themselves out of the market place. they ask as much for their 11 &111 as some of the premium firearms. They came up with the best trigger on the market but they put it in a savage. $600 to 800 bucks for a synthetic stocked no finish club is rediculous. I can buy a ruger 77 for that. Savage started to believe their own press and it has cost them

    • What I know May 4, 2018, 3:53 pm

      Have you ever shot a Savage Rifle,

      You get what You pay for.

      I have they out shoot 90% to 95% of the guns out there by far.

      Savage making and selling barrels for more than half of the rifle gun comp.

      Have been for a very long time, because Savage barrels are more accurate and better than the other comp. can make!

    • Drew May 5, 2018, 6:44 pm

      Have you checked pricing lately? I just saw the axis II in 308 and 6.5 creedmoor for $350/w Nikon scope. I own 6 Savage rifles and love every one.

  • Walter Cheeke May 4, 2018, 4:17 pm

    I live in Canada, and we are regulated to ears with gun laws, I was grandfathered into the prohibited gun license 24 years ago only to have it revote on me this year. I have to say that the moment you people of the USA start to lose your gun rights it will spell the ending of ours here in Canada. I believe in peace and respect for all people, but not at the lost of my rights to enjoy my right to hunt.

    Regards.
    Walter

    • Dale May 5, 2018, 6:13 pm

      It is not about hunting here, it is our RIGHT!!!!

  • Joe May 4, 2018, 4:05 pm

    If they want to abandon ship like a bunch of rats let them eat cake and make your purchases in other venues.

  • Area 52 May 4, 2018, 3:39 pm

    It sounds like their anticipated sale of Savage arms got a lot of people on the warpath. There is some comments about the fact that Savage could have priced themselves out of the market. Maybe they should have scalped their high prices and they still would have had a future in the Vista Outdoors teepee.

  • Rollin Shultz May 4, 2018, 3:11 pm

    The employees should see if they can put together an offer for ownership. It has worked for other companies.

  • Jake May 4, 2018, 2:31 pm

    I personally do not like the products Savage is turning out. For example, Federal has come out with the .224 Valkyrie which allows target shooting out to one mile from an AR-15 or bolt gun. The Savage AR’s chambered for it stupidly sport 16 and 18 inch barrels for a long range cartridge that bangs steel at one mile with 22-26″ barrels. They forfeit several hundred yards of range. I believe their bolt guns in that caliber also have too short of barrels. Would anyone in their right mind chamber a carbine in .22-250? That is about what they do with most of their lines.
    The Savage MSR 10 is chambered in 6.5 and .308. The longest .308 barrel is 20″ with no option for a 24 or 26″ which would maximize the cartridge. These guys have their heads up their ying yangs.

    • wade osborne May 5, 2018, 10:43 am

      If you’ve never shot a model 12 you haven’t shot true accuracy. Especially the ones with the target trigger and the warning of the light trigger on the receiver. I have a 243 and 22-250 that are shooting sub MOA groups up to 800 yards and I’m old and shaky 😉

  • Vernon Miller May 4, 2018, 2:02 pm

    I would love to own your company, I just don’t have the money. Anyway you just tossing the keys my way?

    Thanks

  • Johnny Raygun May 4, 2018, 2:00 pm

    I am glade to see Vista sell out and give Savage a chance to to create. Black gun makers are in trouble., bolt action rifles will be the last firearms they take away……. Savage could dominate the long range target game for a decent entry price rifle….

  • Mike S May 4, 2018, 1:12 pm

    Wimps. Cowards. No other way to call it.

  • Rick May 4, 2018, 12:13 pm

    We can solve a lot of problems by buying MADE IN USA. 🇺🇸

  • Norm May 4, 2018, 10:41 am

    Too big to fail? I think not. Just ask Colt or Winchester.

  • Luis G Bonilla May 4, 2018, 9:26 am

    Are these companies selling out of the gun sales , in light of the rash negative outcry to take away our 2nd ADM , rights because of criminals who showed humanity how little they cared about their fellow humans . Right now politician’s are working on controlling what we should do or not do , with the help of scared citizens who can’t accept reality . All they want is to create a world that can only be if our minds were under control of one ???? What’s next put everyone who wants to own a gun into an asylum for the 2nd Amendment believers ???
    With all that said , I want a world that has no crime , hate greed jealousy and all the evil that is . But taking away rights is not the answer .

  • survivor50 May 4, 2018, 9:23 am

    “We believe future investment should focus on categories where Vista Outdoor can achieve sustainable growth, maximize operational efficiencies, deliver leadership economics, and drive shareholder value,” he continued…

    Translation…”We only want more profits, and not more guns or people…”
    This is what happens when the Corporate Mentality takes over.

  • James Nicol May 4, 2018, 9:04 am

    We all know what “deliver leadership economics” is. Remember Yeti and Dick’s.

    • Al May 4, 2018, 4:44 pm

      Apparently not, because your linking the two shows you’re not very business savvy.
      Savage Arms is NOT performing, plain and simple.
      And performance, no matter the business, is what business is all about.
      Dick’s and Yeti was flat out purely political partisanship, for the sake of being so.

      • JungleCogs May 4, 2018, 12:28 pm

        Yeah, it’s only the Savage firearms brand, not the other firearms products. That’s not enough to place them in the Anti-Bill of Rights Leftist crowd yet.

  • Jim May 4, 2018, 8:39 am

    According to a Wall Street Journal article, REI Co-op recently sent a letter to Vista Outdoors “placing a hold on future orders of any Vista Outdoor products, citing the company’s firearms division and its lack of a public statement outline ‘a clear plan of action’.”

    The irony is REI’s primary goal (other than selling stuff) is to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors – apparently as long as your enjoyment doesn’t involve a firearm of any kind.

    Looks like I won’t be shopping there anymore either.

  • Zorro May 4, 2018, 8:17 am

    No politics involved here. Savage chose the Axis as their price leader operating on razor thin margins. Gun sales historically decline during Republican admin. When sales decline and the margin on your biggest seller aren’t enough to support the company you sell the brand to stop the bleeding while it still has name value.

  • Infidel762X51 May 4, 2018, 7:44 am

    They own federal, but I don’t know what else. I will never buy another round of federal or a federal primer. You are either with the Constitution or against it.

    I’m the NRA, and I vote, with my ballot and my wallet.

  • Rob May 4, 2018, 4:31 am

    Companies caving in, to the anti gun, cummunism

  • Blue Dog May 2, 2018, 7:16 pm

    Recent years have also seen Savage redesign their logo, moving away from the profile of a First Nations person. I doubt that the logo redesign happened for the same reason Vista would put the firearms manufacturer up for sale and I doubt that Vista is caving to any anti-gun political pressure. Were Remington in better shape financially, they would be the first name that I would expect to scoop up the brand.

    The Savage brand has seen a dramatic turnaround in the last 15 years. Around 2003, it looked like Savage was a company about to die and the Acu-Trigger saved the company. I honestly expect that a generation hence Savage will hold a similar place in the hobby that Remington does today and older Savage models will be collectable in the same way that a lot of older Remington models are collectable today. Savage holds a similar place in the rifle market today that Remington did in the 70s and how many times to new rifle buyers go with big green just because it was what their daddy had – in 2035, those same buyers (if we can still buy bolt action rifles) will be going for Savage for the same reason, unless the next owners of the Savage name screw things up, like happened with Remington.

    Ruger and Mossberg – those two companies are the key. If they fall to large conglomerations, the industry will be in danger of falling into oligarchy. If Savage manages to maintain itself as a separate company, free from one of the big gun conglomerates, it could be another bulwark against oligarchy within the industry.

  • Dr Motown May 2, 2018, 7:07 am

    “Strategic business transformation” or caving in to anti-gunners? What makes them think that the Hoggs of the world are going to stop at guns? Next, Vista will be pressured to give up ammunition manufacturing, reloading equipment, and “sniper scopes”

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