Rumors Swirl as SEC Filing Hints at Possible Pure Fishing Sale

WASHINGTON, D.C— Filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission this week could hint at the sale of industry giant Pure Fishing, and Smith and Wesson owner American Outdoor Brands is in the cross-hairs of a fishing industry rumor mill. Fishing Tackle Retailer has confirmed that those speculations are not accurate.

Smoke and fire

A 8-K form filed by Newell Brands on October 10 instructed U.S. Bank National Association to issue a notice of redemption to holders of Newell Brands notes not tendered in an October 1, offer to tender $1 billion in outstanding debt be issued by November 9. A 8-K form is a broad-ranging form used to report unscheduled events or corporate changes at a company that could be of importance to shareholders. The SEC defines its scope to, “important, but irregular corporate events.”

The underwriting of connected document references a U.S. Bank National Association account linked to the former Jarden Corp., though that connection appears tenuous. In April of 2016, Jarden Corp. and Newell Rubbermaid completed a $16 billion merger following the creation of Newell Brands.

With that sort of paper pushing, it’s easy to see how laymen in securities and exchange filings could read into a looming sale. However, it’s important to remember that Newell Brands is a net worth of over $13 billion, with parts in continuous motion.

Makers of Berkley, PENN, Spiderwire, Abu Garcia, Shakespeare, Stren, Pflueger, and more, Pure Fishing is one of the largest brands in the tackle industry. In May, Newell Brands announced plans to sell the entire division for a valuation of $624.4 million.

Around the Rumor Mill

Pure Fishing’s pending sale has been rumored since that announcement, when Newell Brands indicated that the fishing division is no longer in line with its corporate strategy, which revolves around household brands like Sharpie, Yankee Candle, Mr. Coffee, and Rubbermaid. A potential buyer—capable of absorbing the substantial price tag that Newell is seeking for Pure Fishing—has not been confirmed.

However, the rumor mill began swirling this week, with whispers that Smith and Wesson owner American Outdoor Brands as a buyer. A spokesperson from Newell Brands confirmed with Fishing Tackle Retailer that American Outdoor Brands is not currently involved in the sale process.

How did the rumor start? That’s difficult to say, but presentations filed with the SEC, submitted on September 19, indicate that Smith and Wesson owner American Outdoor Brands is intent upon acquiring brands in the fishing realm, listing rods, reels, lures, storage, line, tools, and gear as “future expansion opportunities.”

Pure Fishing certainly fits the mold in nearly every category. And with that sort of language, it’s easy to speculate how acquisition winds hit the rumor mill. With an army of tackle brands under its belt, there may be no shortage of parties interested in acquiring one of fishing’s largest portfolios—for now, American Outdoor Brands does not appear to be one of them.