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ATK to buy Bushnell for about $985 million in cash

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- Alliant Techsystems Inc. said Thursday it reached a deal to buy Bushnell Group Holdings Inc., which makes and sells gun accessories like riflescopes, along with binoculars and spotting scopes, night vision scopes and GPS devices used in outdoor sports, for $985 million in cash.

The aerospace and defense contractor, known as ATK, said the acquisition expands its product offerings into key growth areas, giving it a wide variety of commercial and security ammunition, sporting arms and accessories.

The deal is expected to close in the third or fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, pending regulatory approvals.

Privately held Bushnell's projected sales for calendar 2013 are about $600 million. ATK said it expects the acquisition to reduce its fiscal 2014 earnings per share, but increase its earnings in fiscal 2015 and then boost its fiscal 2016 profit by $1 per share.

As part of the deal, ATK has secured $900 million in financing. It plans to finance the acquisition with a combination of the new financing, existing debt and cash on hand.

ATK President and CEO Mark DeYoung said the acquisition will broaden his company's existing capabilities in the commercial shooting sports and expand its portfolio of branded shooting sports products.

The acquisition also marks ATK's entry into new sporting markets in golf, snow skiing and camping, he said.

Bushnell has portfolio of 19 outdoor brands in sports optics, outdoor accessories and performance eyewear, including its namesake and other brands. Founded in 1948, the Overland Park, Kan.-based company employs about 1,100 people globally.

Bushnell is owned by New York-based private equity firm MidOcean Partners.

ATK shares added 80 cents to $98.01 in morning trading. The stock closed Wednesday at $97.21, up about 57 percent since the start of the year.