Snowmobile and ATV maker Arctic Cat sold for $247M

The company employs 1,600 people in Minnesota.

Minneapolis snowmobile and ATV maker Arctic Cat has been acquired by a Rhode Island company in a deal worth $247 million.

Arctic Cat will sell its outstanding shares to Providence-based golf cart, aircraft and personal transportation maker Textron for $18.50 a share, it was announced Wednesday morning.

After recently moving into new headquarters at 500 North 3rd St. in the North Loop from its former home in Plymouth, Arctic Cat is expected to retain its presence in the Twin Cities, as well as its manufacturing facility in Thief River Falls and its distribution and operational facilities.

The company, which employs 1,600 people in Minnesota, will get to keep its "iconic" Arctic Cat brand.

Although takeovers can sometimes signify troubling times for a company, Arctic Cat CEO Christopher Metz said this merger is a positive one and will give the company the chance to grow.

"This transaction presents increased opportunities for the business to leverage our combined scale, accelerate growth and enhance product innovation in ways that will benefit our customers, dealers and employees," he said.

Arctic Cat will become part of Textron's Specialized Vehicles business, fitting in alongside the suite of ATVs already made by the Rhode Island company.

It comes after a tough trading period for ATV makers. Arctic Cat is itself in the midst of a turnaround strategy after a challenging business environment made more difficult – in winter 2015/16 at least – by a lack of snow in key markets.

In its most recent results, on Nov. 9, the company reported a net loss of $12.8 million.

Another major Minnesota ATV company, Polaris, has been similarly struggling after a year that included massive product recalls and costs associated with fixing a fire risk, the Star Tribune reported.

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