Smith & Wesson announced on Monday that it has signed an agreement to acquire popular laser manufacturer Crimson Trace for $95 million. The Oregon-based Crimson Trace was first founded 22 years ago and had been a key supplier of laser sighting systems for Smith & Wesson. The purchase will be made using existing cash balances, and Smith & Wesson stated that management of the new division, as well as operations, will continue in Crimson Trace’s current Wilsonville location.
“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 Chief Executive Officer. “As the undisputed leader in the market for laser sighting products, Crimson Trace serves as an ideal platform for our new Electro-Optics Division.”
Crimson Trace CEO Lane Tobiassen, who joined the company in 2005, will continue to be at the helm of the new division, reporting directly to Debney.
“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.”
Industry observers, such as Mark Keefe at American Rifleman, says the acquisition was not a big surprise overall. Business has been booming for Crimson Trace, which cemented its brand as a market leader and continues to build on a positive reputation. Additionally, the Oregon-based company had a strong technological leaning that was attractive for traditional gun makers such as Smith & Wesson. The development of the LiNQ wireless laser and white light system may have sweetened the pot as well.