Smith & Wes­son con­sid­ers chang­ing name

Baltimore Sun - - TRUMP TRANSITION - By Thomas Black

Smith & Wes­son Hold­ing Corp., maker of hand­guns car­ried by Civil War sol­diers and Clint East­wood’s 1970s po­lice char­ac­ter Dirty Harry, is look­ing to change its name.

The board al­ready ap­proved a new moniker for the com­pany start­ing Jan. 1: Amer­i­can Out­door Brands Corp. In­vestors will vote on the change at a Dec. 13 meet­ing, Smith & Wes­son said in a state­ment this week. The change af­fects only the hold­ing com­pany, not the brand name of its guns.

The iconic man­u­fac­turer, founded by Ho­race Smith and Daniel B. Wes­son in 1852, won fame for pro­duc­ing one of the first suc­cess­ful re­volver-style pis­tols pop­u­lar in the West. While about 90 per­cent of its sales are gen­er­ated from firearms, Smith & Wes­son has ex­panded to four units that in­clude non-weapon prod­ucts such as flash­lights.

“We in­tend to ag­gres- sively grow or­gan­i­cally and through strate­gic ac­qui­si­tions, fo­cus­ing on brands and prod­ucts that best meet the needs and life­style of our tar­get con­sumers,” CEO James Deb­ney said in the state­ment. The com­pany said last week it will ac­quire the busi­ness of Ul­ti­mate Sur­vival Tech­nolo­gies, a maker of all-weather fire starters and camp-kitchen gear, for $32.3 mil­lion.

The firearms unit will con­tinue to op­er­ate as Smith & Wes­son Corp. and sell un­der that brand name, the com­pany said. The new name will help dif­fer­en­ti­ate the hold­ing com­pany from the gun sub­sidiary, the Spring­field, Mass.-based man­u­fac­turer said.

“Chang­ing our name is not in­tended to di­min­ish the im­por­tance of the Smith & Wes­son brand in our port­fo­lio,” the com­pany said in a reg­u­la­tory fil­ing. “Rather, our new name will rep­re­sent a broader and more in­clu­sive plat­form from which to ex­pand into the shoot­ing, hunt­ing, and rugged out­door mar­kets.”

JOHN LOCHER/AP

The firearms unit will still op­er­ate as Smith & Wes­son Corp. and sell un­der that brand name, the com­pany says.

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