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Smith & Wesson Purchases Laser-sight Maker for $95 Million

SPRINGFIELD — Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Crimson Trace Corp., an industry leader in laser-sighting systems and tactical lighting for firearms, for $95 million.

Crimson Trace has long been a key supplier of laser-sighting systems for Smith & Wesson. For more than two decades, Crimson Trace has provided consumers, military units, and law-enforcement officers around the globe with laser-sight and tactical-light products. Offering more than 225 products, its award-winning innovations include the Lasergrips, Laserguard, and Rail Master platforms. The company’s product line also includes the Defender Series, Lightguard, and its new LiNQ wireless activation system. Based in Wilsonville, Ore., Crimson Trace operates from a 50,000-square-foot, leased facility where it engineers and manufactures its products.

Crimson Trace was founded 22 years ago and has organically generated a 10-year compound annual revenue growth rate in excess of 10%. Its products maintain a premium position with hundreds of independent retailers as well as large sporting-goods retailers, including Cabela’s, MidwayUSA, Nation’s Best Sports, and internet retailer Optics Planet Inc.

“Crimson Trace provides us with an exceptional opportunity to acquire a thriving company that is completely aligned with our strategy to become a leader in the market for shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiasts,” said James Debney, Smith & Wesson president and CEO. “As the undisputed leader in the market for laser-sighting products, Crimson Trace serves as an ideal platform for our new Electro-Optics Division. Firearms purchasers frequently buy electro-optic accessories to enhance the capabilities and performance of their firearms. The growth that Crimson Trace has delivered is a testament to the high-product quality and the robust product development capability that Lane Tobiassen, president and chief executive officer of Crimson Trace, and his team have established. That capability, combined with Crimson Trace’s leadership position in the market for laser sights, provides a solid framework for organic and inorganic growth.”

Tobiassen, who joined Crimson Trace in 2005, will serve as president of the new Electro-Optics Division of Smith & Wesson, and will report directly to Debney. The Crimson Trace management team and workforce, as well as its base of operations, will remain in Wilsonville, Ore. after the acquisition.

“It is a great honor to lead Crimson Trace into this exciting new chapter in our history by joining the Smith & Wesson team,” Tobiassen said. “Since 1994, we have designed and brought to market more than 225 products, all of which reflect the passion, dedication, and spirit of innovation of our design engineers, production workforce, customer-service representatives, and marketing and sales professionals. As the new Electro-Optics Division of Smith & Wesson, we believe that our capabilities, combined with inorganic opportunities to acquire related technologies, will expand the reach of our existing market footprint. This makes us a great fit for Smith & Wesson, a legendary company with an iconic brand, world-class products, and markets that include consumer, law-enforcement, and international channels. We look forward to offering consumers exceptional performance from two of the industry’s most trusted names.”

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