Exclusive: Gun accessory maker Bushnell is up for sale - sources

Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:40pm EST

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(Reuters) - Bushnell, which makes outdoor products and accessories for hunters such as eyewear and riflescopes, is up for a sale in a deal that could be worth $1 billion, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Bushnell's owner, private equity firm MidOcean Partners, is finalizing advisers for the process, said all the sources, who declined to be identified because the talks are private.

Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bushnell has about $100 million in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the sources said. It has annual revenue of roughly $450 million.

MidOcean Partners declined to comment.

Founded in 1948, Bushnell makes accessories such as binoculars, telescopes, night vision equipment and GPS devices for sports like hunting and fishing. It sells products under various brands such as Butler Creek, Final Approach, Hoppe's, Millett, Night Optics, Primos, Simmons, Stoney Point, Tasco and Uncle Mike's.

Gun manufacturer Freedom Group came under fire from its investors last year after a shooting at a Connecticut school and its private equity backer Cerberus Capital Management decided to put the company up for sale. Sources said MidOcean's decision to sell Bushnell was unrelated.

Bushnell was acquired by MidOcean in 2007 from private equity firm Wind Point Partners. Last April, Bushnell acquired Primos Hunting, a hunting products maker.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Richard Chang and Leslie Adler)

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