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Industry News: Remington Arms Co. to be Acquired by Cerberus Capital
By Robert M. Hausman

Remington Arms Company, Inc., the nation’s oldest continually-operating firearms company, is being acquired by an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. The $370 million dollar acquisition includes the assumption of all of Remington Arms Company, Inc.’s liabilities and product lines.

Remington’s CEO Tommy Millner released a statement characterizing the transaction as “an acknowledgment of the Remington tradition, its strong brand, and the excellent products built over 191 years.”

The acquisition gives Cerberus two gun companies, Remington Arms and Bushmaster. According to one source, Remington plans to add an AR-style rifle platform to complement their M24SWS Sniper Weapon System, while Bushmaster will add signature branded ammunition products.

For many years, Remington has remained the number one producer of both rifles and shotguns in the US domestic market.

Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., has a diversified portfolio, with holdings including airlines (Air Canada), car rental companies (Alamo and National), a bus manufacturer(Bluebird), and banks and lending institutions in Germany, Israel and Japan. Cerberus is reported as having $23.5 billion under management.

Remington was already owned by two New York private equity firms, Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Company, and Clayton Dubilier & Rice. Clayton Dubilier bought Remington’s assets from DuPont in 1993 for $300 million.

With Cerberus assuming Remington’s substantial existing debt, less than $120 million of the $370 million sale price will actually change hands.

For the year ended December 31, 2006, Remington’s firearms sales were $223.4 million, versus $202.2 million in 2005 and $193.4 million in 2004.

Ammunition sales during 2006 came to $204.9 million, compared to $184.5 million in 2005 and $176.1 million in 2004. Sales in all other segments were $17.7 million in 2006, $23.7 million in 2005 and $23.5 million in 2004.

Steyr Arms, Inc. Under New Ownership

Steyr Arms, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Steyr Mannlicher GmbH of Austria, is under new ownership and direction. Franz Holzschuh, a management consultant and international trade expert from Austria has purchased the 150- year old firearms manufacturer, including its branches in the United States.

Holzschuh’s primary objective is to pursue the premier hunting market in the United States with the renowned Mannlicher Classic, Scout, ProHunter and UltraLight rifle lines as well as to continue to service the law enforcement community with their high-precision rifles such as the Steyr SSG series, the Steyr Elite and the Steyr HS 50.

Steyr’s Austrian headquarters and its 100 employees will remain in place, as will the U.S. and Malaysia facilities. The U.S. facility in Cumming, Georgia will continue its marketing and logistic support services of the Steyr Mannlicher line of rifles and the M-A1 series of pistols.

Savage Range Systems Acquires Porta Target

Savage Range Systems has announced its acquisition of Porta Target, a manufacturer of ranges, targets and shoot houses. Savage Range Systems is a subsidiary of Savage Sports Corporation, which includes Savage Arms.

Beretta Awarded Canadian Contract

Beretta U.S.A. has announced it has been awarded a multi-year contract from the Canada Border Services Agency for the Beretta Model Px4 Storm semiautomatic pistol in 9mm, double action with tritium sights. The contract award marks the first time that agents with the Canadian agency will be armed.

The contract’s initial order is for 2,400 units, with additional options allowing orders of up to 6,400 total units. As part of the contract, Beretta will train the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Armourer Section to become a warranty center for the product in support of the Canada Border Services Agency.

ITT to Pay Penalties for ITAR Violation

US defense group ITT Corporation has agreed to pay penalties of USD100 million - described by the US Department of Justice as “one of the largest penalties ever paid in a criminal case - after admitting sending classified materials overseas. The penalties, which relate to the ITT Night Vision subsidiary’s compliance with US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and an investigation that began in 2001, include a USD 50 million fine and a commitment to invest USD 50 million in the research and development of night-vision products over the next five years.

Counterfeit Leupold Optics on Market

Leupold & Stevens has issued an advisory regarding counterfeit versions of its optical products on the market - particularly offered through Internet marketers.

The counterfeit products, which are apparently being imported from the People’s Republic of China, bear many of the marks and trade dress of the Leupold brand and are thus hard to distinguish from the real thing.

In recent months, counterfeited Leupold Mark 4 riflescopes have been sent with increasing regularity to the firm’s Beaverton, Oregon repair facility for service. Since they are not genuine Leopold scopes, the firm has refused repair services.

Most of the scopes appear to originate in Hong Kong and have “Leupold Mark 4” laser etched on the bottom of the turret in silver, while the black ring on the objective is etched in white and does not include the name “Leupold”. The fake scopes also do not bear the Leupold medallion. Authentic Mark 4 riflescopes are engraved black-onblack and have the name “Leupold” engraved on the black ring.

Business Insurance Seminars

A series of free telephone loss control seminars presented by AIGConsultants Inc. are offered to those insuring through the Sporting Firearms Business Insurance program provided by Joseph Chiarello & Co. and AIG Programs. Upcoming topics include safety training and severe summer weather protection. Those interested may e-mail: info@jcinsco.com for more information

Northwest Rescinds Gun Travel Policy

Northwest Airlines and its partner KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have agreed to withdraw a new policy that singled out overseas travelers with long-gun cases for an enormous additional luggage fee of $300.

Thanks to efforts by Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association, Northwest has amended its policy, eliminating the exorbitant fee and accepting longgun cases on overseas flights under the “free luggage allowance” as long as travelers comply with firearms regulations in the countries they are traveling through.

New Virginia Law Prohibits Straw Purchase Attempts

New York City officials will have a harder time targeting Virginia gun dealers under legislation signed by Gov. Tim Kaine.

Kaine signed House Bill 2653, which restricts “straw sales” of guns such as those some Virginia dealers allegedly made to undercover private investigators hired by New York City. The transactions were cited in lawsuits the city filed last year against gun dealers in Virginia and four other states alleging they sold firearms illegally. City officials have accused the gun dealers of selling weapons that later were used to commit crimes in New York.

The bill prohibits anyone but law enforcement officers from trying to make an illegal gun purchase from a firearms dealer. A violation of the new law is a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The bill’s sponsor said it was specifically written to stem New York City’s actions against Virginia retailers.

SHOT Show 2008 to be Held on Unusual Days

The February 2-5 dates of the 2008 SHOT Show in Las Vegas fall on a Saturday through Tuesday, unusual dates for the SHOT Show, but not for the fist time.

The 2002 SHOT Show, also in Las Vegas and, coincidentally, also on February 2-5, first presented the Saturday through Tuesday format, which was the first time that pattern was utilized for the SHOT Show.

The 2008 edition of the SHOT Show will mark a round-number occasion: the 30th year that the show has been staged. The first, in St. Louis in 1979, featured 290 exhibiting companies. Twenty-nine years later, 81 of those companies will be exhibiting at their 30th straight SHOT Show.

Duplicate FFL Renewals Sent in Error

The Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC) recently experienced a computer error that resulted in the printing of duplicate renewal application forms affecting approximately 1,200 Federal firearms licensees.

The licenses affected were some of those expiring on July 1, 2007. Licensees who receive a duplicate FFL renewal application form in the mail should complete only one form and shred the extra form.

ATF Reviewing Forms

Policies and procedures regarding several regulatory issues are apparently under review by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, according to information collection notices published in the Federal Register.

The first concerns letter applications to obtain authorization for the assembly of a non-sporting rifle or non-sporting shotgun for the purpose of test and evaluation. The second is a review of the procedures for making application for a federal firearms license as a collector of curios and relics. The third involves a review of the records required to be kept by collectors of firearms (presumably curios and relics). Another involves the forms required to provide ATF with notice of firearms manufactured or imported and the last involves the form required to make and register a firearm under the National Firearms Act.

While detailed information is not available, the publication of these information collection notices indicates ATF is planning to make some changes in policies and procedures on these matters at some point in the future.

The author publishes two of the small arms industry’s most widely read trade newsletters. The International Firearms Trade covers the world firearms scene, and The New Firearms Business covers the domestic market. He also offers FFLmailing lists to firms interested in direct marketing efforts to the industry. He may be reached at: FirearmsB@aol.com.

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