Bushnell is one highly focused firm. Also known as Bushnell Outdoor Products, the company makes binoculars, riflescopes, laser-guided rangefinders, night vision items, trail cameras, and other high-end optical equipment. It also produces performance eyewear and has a licensing agreement with Bausch & Lomb (which sold Bushnell in the mid-'90s). The firm's brand portfolio includes Bushnell, Bollé, Butler Creek, Cébé, Hoppe's, Serengeti, Stoney Point, Tasco, and Uncle Mike's. Bushnell operates offices in the US, Canada, France, Hong Kong, and Australia, and its products are distributed to more than 25 countries. Established in 1948, the company today is owned by private equity firm MidOcean Partners.
Named for founder David Bushnell, the company started as a maker of binoculars, and its scope of business has expanded in the decades since. Bausch & Lomb bought the company from its namesake in 1971; B&L divested its sport optics division in 1995, and Bushnell came under the ownership of Wind Point Partners at the end of the decade. Wind Point extended Bushnell's reach to the eyewear market and bolstered its offering of outdoor accessories. MidOcean Partners snapped up Bushnell in 2007 and has since been building upon the company's expertise in high-end optics and eyewear.
To this end, the company acquired the Cébé brand from Italy-based eyewear maker Marcolin in mid-2009. Cébé's name has been stamped on performance sunglasses, ski goggles, optical frames, and helmets. The deal helps Bushnell to expand its stable of eyewear brands, which includes Bollé ski goggles and sunglasses and Serengeti all-purpose sunglasses.
Bushnell Outdoor Products added the title of CEO to president Blake Lipham's duties in late 2010. Lipham has been president since 2008; he joined the company in 2007. Chairman Robert Caulk praised Lipham for formulating Bushnell's aggressive growth plan, assembling a first-rate management team, and emphasizing the importance of service and product innovation.
The US government has been a Bushnell devotee for years. Extending a list of previous purchases, the government in 2009 awarded Bushnell a contract for a military version of its Elite line of spotting scopes, which are commonly used with firearms. The scopes have been used by the US's multinational forces. – less