NY Firm Takes Aim At Airgun Co.

Wellspring Capital Management LLC is close to buying Crosman Corp., a maker of shooting sports products, from Pamlico Capital, Buyouts is reporting, citing a source and a regulatory filing.

The Bloomfield, N.Y.-based company generates about $125 million in annual revenue, the source said, and according to its Web site, the company employs more than 300 people.

Crosman offers a wide menu of air rifles, air pistols, as well as crossbows, archery toys for children and other archery products. The company was founded in Rochester, N.Y., in 1923 as Crosman Arms Company. Crosman also devotes a portion of its website to “Crossman University,” where visitors can “explore these hallowed halls and learn everything there is to know about the exciting world of airguns and Crosman,” including safety tips and educational programs for wee shooters.

If the deal proceeds, New York-based Wellspring Capital will invest out of its fourth fund, which closed with $1 billion in commitments in 2006. Crosman would likely mark one of the final investments for the fund, as Wellspring closed a fifth fund with $1.2 billion in commitments November 2010.

Wellspring does transactions in the $50 million to $2 billion range across a broad range of industries. Its earlier funds have performed fairly well: its third fund, a $675 million vehicle raised in 2003, for example, was generating a 1.9x return on capital and a 25.6 percent internal rate of return as of June of last year, according to pension fund data peHUB sister pub Buyouts compiles.

For Pamlico, the sale would come out of Pamlico Capital II, a $1.1 billion fund the Charlotte, N.C.-based firm raised in 2007 when it was still a division of Wachovia known as Wachovia Capital Partners. Pamlico typically targets deals in the business and technology services, communications and health care industries.