Smith & Wesson Holding Corp is getting into the knife business. Until now the company’s involvement in the knife category was limited to licensing the Smith & Wesson brand name to Taylor Brands, who also make Schrade, Old Timer, Uncle Henry, and Imperial knives. Today, Smith & Wesson announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Taylor Brands in exchange for $85 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in August.
Taylor will be incorporated into BTI Tools, a soon to be established subsidiary of Battenfeld Technologies, the gun accessory division of Smith & Wesson. Odie Tucker of SSI Data, which tracks sales of guns, ammunition, accessories, and knives, says that the acquisition will give Smith & Wesson traction in important markets. “Smith & Wesson have been wanting to expand their presence in the outdoor space, so I’m not all that surprised,” he says. “The acquisition of Taylor Brands should give Smith & Wesson a strong start in the knife category. Sales of Schrade and Smith & Wesson knives have been holding steady in a declining market, which is very strong performance,” Tucker says.
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“Taylor Brands provides us with an ideal opportunity to further deliver on an important element of our strategic plan,” James Debney, President of Smith & Wesson, said following their announcement. President of Taylor Brands Morgan Taylor commented on the deal as well, saying: “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.”
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp is a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ. Its shares closed up 1.5% on the news.