A deal has reportedly been reached that will allow the legendary Colt Firearms company of Connecticut to be acquired by the Česká zbrojovka Group, the Czech firearms firm famous in its own right.
According to the New York Post, the Czech firm, known as CZG, “will acquire all of Colt’s business for $220 million and about 1.1 million new shares of the Czech firm’s stock.”
It’s an historic move, as Colt has been an icon of American gun manufacturing for more than 150 years. The company’s various sidearms have become part of the American fabric, with old West sixguns, the Model 1917 revolver, the Model 1911 semiautomatic pistol and the AR-15/M16 rifle all having served in wars defending the nation.
According to The Outdoor Wire, CZG “signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding equity interest in Colt Holding Company LLC (“Colt”), the parent company of U.S. firearms manufacturer, Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC as well as its Canadian subsidiary, Colt Canada Corporation.
Colt has had trouble in recent times in a market flooded with handguns and other models of the Modern Sporting Rifle built on the AR platform. Over the past few years, Colt has been coming back in the revolver market with such models as the King Cobra and iconic Python double-action revolvers that have gotten very good reviews from various writers in gun periodicals.
Founded by Samuel Colt in the mid-1830s, Colt became famous for its revolvers before and during the Civil War, and during the period of western expansion. In 1911, the U.S. military adopted the Model 1911 semiautomatic pistol as its sidearm, which was carried by soldiers in both world wars, Korea and Vietnam, and countless other actions around the world.
The Outdoor Wire quoted heads of both CZG and Colt.
Dennis Veilleux, President and CEO of Colt, added, “We are very pleased with the prospect of such a strategic combination. Having completed a historic turn-around 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. We are excited to join forces with CZG which will be a powerful combination for both brands and for our customers.”
Lubomír Kovařík, President and Chairman of CZG, stated, “This merger is a strategic step for both companies. 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. We are proud to include Colt, which has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Army for over 175 years, in our portfolio. We believe in the successful connection of our corporate cultures, the proven track record of the current management team and the complementary nature of the CZ and Colt brands. The combined group will have revenues in excess of USD 600 million and presents a real small arms powerhouse. The experience of CZ and Colt management will further strengthen both brands and ensure CZ and Colt continue to deliver top quality products and solutions to all our customers.”
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