Textron to buy Arctic Cat: $247 million all-cash deal

Arctic Cat will become part of Textron’s Specialized Vehicles business, maintaining its iconic Arctic Cat brand, as well as its current manufacturing, distribution and operational facilities.

Textron CEO Scott Donnelly and Arctic Cat CEO Chris Metz
Textron CEO Scott Donnelly and Arctic Cat CEO Chris Metz Photo: Textron/Arctic Cat

Editor's note: This is Textron's second venture into the snowmobile business.  In 1968 Textron, a company better known for E-Z Go Golf Carts, Bell Helicopters and Cessna airplanes, bought Polaris Industries. After a failed deal to sell Polaris to Bombardier, Textron ended up exiting the snowmobile market in 1981 when Polaris management organized a company stock buy back.

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Arctic Cat Inc. today announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement under which Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) will acquire Arctic Cat in a cash transaction valued at approximately $247 million, plus the assumption of existing debt. Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Arctic Cat board of directors, Textron, through a wholly owned subsidiary, will commence a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Arctic Cat at $18.50 per share in cash, representing a 40.7 percent premium to the closing price of Arctic Cat's common stock on January 20, 2017. Arctic Cat anticipates that tender offer materials will be provided to shareholders no later than February 7, 2017. The completion of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

“Arctic Cat’s board believes that Textron’s offer delivers compelling and immediate value to our shareholders,” said Christopher Metz, Arctic Cat’s president and chief executive officer. “This transaction presents increased opportunities for the business to leverage our combined scale, accelerate growth and enhance product innovation in ways that will benefit our customers, dealers and employees.” Textron is a multi-industry company with over $13 billion in annual revenues and approximately 35,000 employees.

Arctic Cat will become part of Textron’s Specialized Vehicles business, maintaining its iconic Arctic Cat brand, as well as its current manufacturing, distribution and operational facilities, with a focus on growing the business. Arctic Cat and Textron Specialized Vehicles have complementary product portfolios of recreational, utility and specialized vehicles. The combined businesses will be well positioned to be a powersports industry leader with a wider product line-up, and allow for more aggressive investment in product development, dealer networks, marketing and customer service.

Metz added: “We are proud of the progress our team has made to lay the foundation for Textron to continue taking this company forward. Textron plans to build on Arctic Cat’s strong brand and history of innovation. We expect many Arctic Cat employees to benefit from expanded career opportunities as part of a larger, more diversified company. On behalf of the Arctic Cat board and management team, we thank our dedicated employees for their hard work, commitment and pride in making Arctic Cat an enduring competitor and beloved brand in the powersports market. We are excited about Arctic Cat’s future.”

Advisors

Baird is serving as financial advisor and Fredrikson & Byron is serving as legal counsel to Arctic Cat. Shearman & Sterling LLP is serving as legal counsel to Textron.

About Arctic Cat

The Arctic Cat brand is among the most widely recognized and respected in the recreational vehicle industry. The company designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides and snowmobiles, in addition to related parts, garments and accessories under the Arctic Cat® and Motorfist® brand names. Arctic Cat Inc.’s world headquarters is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “ACAT.” More information about Arctic Cat and its products is available at www.arcticcat.com.

About Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc.

Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of golf cars, utility and personal transportation vehicles, professional turf-care equipment, and ground support equipment. Textron Specialized Vehicles markets products under the E-Z-GO®, Cushman®, Textron Off Road™, Jacobsen®, Dixie Chopper®, Ransomes®, TUG™, Douglas™, Premier™ and Safeaero™ brands. Its vehicles are found in environments ranging from golf courses to factories, airports to planned communities, and theme parks to hunting preserves.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information visit: www.textron.com.

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