Johnson Outdoors Inc. will be taken private in a transaction valued at $177.3 million.
The Racine, Wis.-based kayak maker announced a merger pact Oct. 29. The Johnson family formed JO Acquisition Corp. to conduct the transaction. The late Samuel C. Johnson's family members include Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Outdoors.
According to a company news release, public shareholders will receive $20.10 per share in cash, and family members will acquire 100 percent ownership.
The Johnson family made its offer to acquire the company earlier this year. Officials said there will be no change in operations or organizational structure.
``Our goal was, and still is, to return this company to its origins as a private, family-owned enterprise, free of the constraints and costs of operating as a publicly traded entity,'' Johnson-Leipold wrote in an Oct. 29 memo to employees, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Johnson-Leipold said she believes that being private and family-owned provides a competitive advantage for the company, giving the management freedom and flexibility to make decisions, according to that same filing.
``As a private company, our strategies and financials would no longer be reported publicly every quarter, and therefore, no longer accessible to our competitors,'' officials wrote.
Johnson Outdoors' holdings include Old Town, Dimension, Ocean Kayak, Necky Kayak and paddle maker Carlisle.