Smith & Wesson purchases Taylor Brands for $85 million


By Scott Robertson

Smith & Wesson is best known as a manufacturer of firearms, but Kingsport, Tenn.-based Taylor Brands is bringing a knife to a gun company.

The local knife maker has long been licensed to produce product lines under the Smith & Wesson brand. When the sale of Taylor Brands to Smith & Wesson Holding Company (SWHC)’s Battenfield Technologies Division closes later this month, $85 million will change hands and SWHC will control not only the 160,000-square-foot Taylor Brands facility in Kingsport, but also all the Taylor Brands product lines, including Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry and Imperial. Taylor Brands manufactures several hundred products including knives, collapsible batons, tactical pens, handcuffs, tactical and survival accessories and flashlights.

Under the terms of the sale agreement, BTI Tools, LLC, a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of Battenfeld, will purchase substantially all of the assets of Taylor Brands.

James Debney, Smith & Wesson president and CEO said of the deal, “Taylor Brands provides us with an ideal opportunity to further deliver on an important element of our strategic plan, which is to grow our accessories division by expanding into adjacent and complementary markets.

“Taylor Brands has delivered solid growth as well as gross margins that are aligned with those in our existing Accessories Division,” Debney continued. ”Today’s announcement moves us closer to our vision, which is to become the leading provider of quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast.”

Jeffrey D. Buchanan, executive vice president and CFO of Smith & Wesson, said, “As a result of our strong balance sheet, we intend to complete the asset purchase of Taylor Brands with cash on hand and we expect the transaction to close in three to six weeks. As of the date of acquisition, Taylor Brands’ trailing twelve months revenue was approximately $39.0 million. Without considering any of the significant cost savings that are expected to be realized in our next fiscal year as a result of an acquisition tuck-in of a major licensee, the purchase price represents an estimated multiple of approximately 11x the trailing twelve-month EBITDAS.”

Morgan Taylor, president of Taylor Brands, said, “We are proud that the company my family founded in 1975 has grown to become a leading and highly regarded knife and tool provider. We look forward to achieving our next level of growth and continuing to serve our loyal customers as part of Smith & Wesson and with the benefit of Battenfeld Technologies’ extensive distribution network and product development processes.”

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