Wind Point Nabs Sports Optics Rival –

Bushnell Performance Optics, a sports optics portfolio company of Chicago-based Wind Point Partners, has acquired all intellectual property of Tasco Worldwide Inc., a top competitor.

The purchase also gives Bushnell the brand name and company trademark and is expected to bring total annual company sales to $240 million.

This acquisition provides Bushnell with the worldwide selling and marketing rights of Tasco and Tasco products. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. Wind Point’s fund did not provide any equity for the transaction, as the firm had enough availability on its debt facilities “due to performance.”

“From our standpoint, this deal is very consistent with what Wind Point does,” said Rich Kracum, a managing director of Wind Point. He also sits on the board of directors of Bushnell. “Our strategy is to back world class executives like Joe Messner, and [create] platform companies.”

The firm bought Bushnell three years ago. This is its fourth add-on transaction.

“Tasco was a direct competitor with Bushnell,” said Kracum, “so obviously there’s tremendous benefit.”

Tasco was in the process of liquidating its working capital and inventory and collecting its receivables at the time of purchase.

“So we really had a clean start going forward,” said Messner, president of Bushnell. “We value the brand, it adds strong consumer recognition and has a strong reputation within our market and complements what we’re doing,” he added, as the brand is positioned in the opening price-point segment of the market. Additionally, he said, it has strong international distribution, throughout Europe, South Africa and Australia. Currently 35% of sales are international, and Messner said he expects that number to grow.

Going forward, Messner and his team plan to absorb Tasco, both physically and in terms of human resources. He said he subsequently has no plans to “add anything” in either case. Bushnell currently offers a diverse range of optical products and will immediately begin manufacturing and marketing binoculars, riflescopes, and other optical products under the Tasco brand.