A Higher Bid, and National Security Concerns, for an Ammunition Maker

An investment firm has raised its takeover bid for Vista Outdoor, which owns ammunition brands like Remington, and raised national security concerns about a rival suitor.Credit…Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times

Raised stakes in a firearms takeover contest

A battle over Vista Outdoor, the company behind top ammunition brands like Remington and Camelbak water bottles, is escalating — and national security is becoming a bigger factor in the fight.

The investment firm MNC Capital on Monday raised its bid for the company to $3 billion, DealBook is first to report, hoping that a more generous offer — and further uncertainty that a rival bidder, the Czechoslovak Group, can pass a U.S. national security review — will win over Vista’s shareholders.

MNC is offering $37.50 a share for all of Vista, up from a bid of $35 last month and 16 percent higher than where Vista’s stock closed on Friday. In a letter to Vista’s board reviewed by DealBook, the investment firm reiterated that it had lined up financing for its offer, despite questions by Vista about how solid those commitments were.

Vista rejected MNC’s previous offer, saying a planned breakup of itself would be more valuable for shareholders. (Vista has agreed to sell its ammunition business to CSG for $1.9 billion, leaving its nonfirearm division, Revelyst, as a stand-alone public company.)

MNC argued that its new offer assigns Revelyst $1.1 billion in enterprise value, nearly double the $570 million implied by the CSG deal.

In its letter, MNC amplified concerns about national security. The CSG deal has been under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the federal interagency panel that reviews certain investments by overseas buyers in U.S. companies. (As an American firm, MNC isn’t subject to such a review.)

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