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Vista Outdoor makes layoffs at Bell and Giro as Fox Racing integration continues

Published April 1, 2023
UPDATED with quote from Vista Outdoor.

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Sources at Bell and Giro tell BRAIN that the Vista Outdoor brands made significant staff layoffs this week, especially in the marketing, brand, and creative departments.

According to an SEC filing made Monday, Vista Outdoor is closing the Bell/Giro facility in Scotts Valley and consolidating the brands' staff at the Fox Racing headquarters in Irvine. The Scotts Valley facility will close effective Sept. 1.

“We are accelerating the merger between Bell, Blackburn, Copilot, Fox, Giro, Krash and Raskullz. Plans are underway to unite our teams at the current Fox offices, which will soon be transformed into a revamped Innovation Center that unites our teams under one roof while honoring each brand’s culture and ethos, which are unique, valued and untouchable. Fox will be Fox, Bell will be Bell and Giro will be Giro," said Jeff McGuane, the president of Vista Outdoor's Action Sports business unit in a statement provided to BRAIN. 

“Today’s economic headwinds and intense competition for consumer time and wallet requires radical changes in how we operate our business and deliver value for our customers and riders. This transformation will enable deeper investments in product, brand and market development that are absolutely critical to strengthening our iconic brands and winning with riders in this new era,” McGuane's statement concluded. 

Last year Vista Outdoor bought Fox Racing, the action sports apparel and protection brand, for $540 million. McGuane, who had been Fox's president, took over leadership of the Vista Outdoor Action Sports brands in the winter.

In a February earnings call, Vista Outdoors board director Gary L. McArthur told investors that the Fox integration with the Action Sports business unit was leading to savings opportunities through "synergies."

"We have captured a number of quick synergies and have also identified additional synergies above our initial business case," McArthur said in the Feb. 2 earnings call. 

Compared to the same quarter in the previous year, revenue for the Action Sports brands was up 34% to $132 million in the third quarter, Vista Outdoor's most recent reporting period, ending Dec. 25, 2022. But the increase was primarily due to the inclusion of Fox Racing revenue of $67 million in the quarter. Sales in the continuing brands were down, especially in the mass market and big box stores. On the upside, the company said its snow sport product sales (Giro ski helmets and goggles) were up 30% in the quarter.  

Vista Outdoor's next earnings report, for its full fiscal year, is expected in early May. 

Fox Racing sales boosted Action Sports revenue in Q3.
Topics associated with this article: Mergers, Acquisitions & Investments, Earnings/Financial Reports

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