Vista Outdoor, the U.S. company that has been expanding through the acquisition of Camelbak and other brands, has agreed to pay $74 million to further widen its offering with the purchase of Camp Chef, an American supplier of outdoor cooking gear.
The purchase price being paid for the privately-owned company is made up from $60 million in cash paid at closing, and $14 million in cash to be paid out in equal installments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the closing date, subject to certain conditions.
Vista added that the effective price is lower, due to the value created by tax assets resulting from the transaction and the deferred purchase price structure. The effective price thus amounts to a multiple of about 6.4 times Camp Chef's projected operating earnings before amortization in 2016.
Established in Utah in 1990, Camp Chef sells more than 250 products for cooking in all sorts of outdoor situations, from camp stoves to grills and cast-iron cookware. The company is to be integrated into the Outdoor Products segment of Vista Outdoor, which is overseen by Karen Grindle.
Vista says that cooking equipment is one of the most attractive categories in the U.S. camping market, with a compound annual growth rate of 6 percent from 2010 to 2015, based on figures from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. The market was already hot enough a few years ago to justify the acquisition of Jetboil by Johnson Outdoors.
The latest takeover should enable Camp Chef to expand further, taking advantage of the distribution network and marketing expertise built up by Vista Outdoor. The buyer says that Camp Chef has been growing and expanding its market share in the outdoor cooking category on the back of a responsive product development process. The brand serves many of Vista's consumers.
Vista expects the acquisition to be slightly accretive to its earnings per share for the full year 2017, including costs related to the transaction. A majority of the payment of $14 million of deferred purchase price will be contingent on continued employment of key members of management and certain other conditions. The purchase price is also subject to a customary working capital adjustment.