UST Brands is a company that sells a variety of outdoor and survival products like pre-packaged survival kits, camp stoves and flashlights. UST Brand products sell in major retailers from Academy Sports to Walmart. Battenfeld Technologies, owner of brands like Caldwell, Wheeler and Tipton, is itself part of the Outdoor Products & Accessories division of Smith & Wesson.
The acquisition is another sign that Smith & Wesson is diversifying away from the firearms industry. Recently, Smith & Wesson acquired a pocket knife company through BTI Tools, which is a subsidiary of Battenfeld Technologies. Battenfeld also acquired PowerTech, a flashlight company, this year. According to Smith & Wesson’s president and CEO, James Debney:
“We are very excited to announce the acquisition of UST Brands. With its complete offering of survival gear, UST Brands is our first acquisition that is entirely focused on the outdoor market, which is a key part of our vision to become the leading provider of quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast.
I highly doubt that Smith & Wesson has any serious plans of jumping out of gun making. However, it is clear that the company no longer wants to keep all of its eggs in that basket. The acquisition is likely seen as complimentary with a built in hedge against a downturn in the firearms market.