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Iconic American Gun Manufacturer Sold to Czech Company

Iconic American Gun Manufacturer Sold to Czech Company

By Noah Manskar, NY Post

February 12, 2021 

A Czech firearms company has reached a deal to buy Colt, the iconic American gunmaker that helped popularize the revolver.

Česká zbrojovka Group said it will acquire all of Colt’s business for $220 million and about 1.1 million new shares of the Czech firm’s stock.

The deal announced Thursday will help Česká zbrojovka, also known as CZG, expand its global customer base as well as its production capacity in the US and Canada, the company says.

“The acquisition of Colt, an iconic brand and a benchmark for the military, law enforcement and commercial markets globally, fits perfectly in our strategy to become the leader in the firearms manufacturing industry and a key partner for the armed forces,” CZG president and chairman Lubomír Kovařík said in a statement.

The takeover is expected to close in the second quarter of this year pending approval from regulators, according to a news release. The deal, which CZG will finance with cash and a potential bond issuance, came about five years after Connecticut-based Colt emerged from bankruptcy. Colt traces its roots back to 1836, when inventor Samuel Colt obtained two US gun patents and started his first manufacturing business. The company became famous for churning out revolver pistols and grew to supply the American and Canadian militaries.

Colt has struggled as the firearms industry has grown and its design patents expired. It filed for bankruptcy in 2015, emerging the following year. And it has continued to lose market share as police switched to Glock weapons, which were cheaper, lighter, and held more ammunition. And Smith & Wesson has also grown to be a much larger competitor.

Colt officials say they hope the acquisition will help the company regain some of its past glory and result in stronger financials. The combined group will have revenues of over $500 million.

“We are very pleased with the prospect of such a strategic combination,” said Dennis Veilleux, president and CEO of Colt, in a statement. “Having completed a historic turnaround of the operations and financial performance at Colt over the past five years, this important next step with CZG positions the company to take advantage of significant growth opportunities.”