Skip to comments.Mystery Company Is Rapidly Acquiring U.S. Gun and Ammo Manufacturers
Posted on 01/01/2012 9:31:54 AM PST by qaz123
Reports that a mysterious company has been buying up U.S. gun manufacturers have been popping up on the internet for several months. When we first learned of the possibility that a single company was rapidly acquiring companies like Bushmaster, Remington, and Marlin Firearms we immediately suspected that something was amiss. Apparently, we were not alone, because others were thinking the same thing.
One rumor that popped up was that global financier George Soros, historically an anti-gun advocate, was behind the moves, and that he was positioning the gun industry to reduce pro-gun lobbying efforts. This prompted the National Rifle Association to step in to assure American gun owners that this wasnt a behind the scenes coup. The owners and investors involved are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and are avid hunters and shooters, the NRA said in a statement.
While Soros may not be involved, the New York Times identified the company making the acquisitions as an obscure organization known as The Freedom Group, which is managed by multi-billion dollar investment firm Cerberus Capital Management:
In recent years, many top-selling brands including the 195-year-old Remington Arms, as well as Bushmaster Firearms and DPMS, leading makers of military-style semiautomatics have quietly passed into the hands of a single private company. It is called the Freedom Group and it is the most powerful and mysterious force in the U.S. commercial gun industry today.
Never heard of it?
Youre not alone. Even within gun circles, the Freedom Group is something of an enigma. Its rise has been so swift that it has become the subject of wild speculation and grassy-knoll conspiracy theories. In the realm of consumer rifles and shotguns long guns, in the trade it is unrivaled in its size and reach. By its own count, the Freedom Group sold 1.2 million long guns and 2.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the 12 months ended March 2010, the most recent year for which figures are publicly available.
Behind this giant is Cerberus Capital Management, the private investment company that first came to widespread attention when it acquired Chrysler in 2007. (Chrysler later had to be rescued by taxpayers). With far less fanfare, Cerberus, through the Freedom Group, has been buying big names in guns and ammo.
From its headquarters in Manhattan, Cerberus has assembled a remarkable arsenal. It began with Bushmaster
After Bushmaster, the Freedom Group moved in on Remington, which traces its history to the days of flintlocks and today is supplying M24 sniper rifles to the government of Afghanistan and making handguns for the first time in decades. The group has also acquired Marlin Firearms, which turned out a special model for Annie Oakley, as well as Dakota Arms, a maker of high-end big-game rifles. It has bought DPMS Firearms, another maker of semiautomatic, military-style rifles, as well as manufacturers of ammunition and tactical clothing.
We believe our scale and product breadth are unmatched within the industry, the Freedom Group said in a filing last year with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Why Cerberus went after gun companies isnt clear. Many private investment firms shy away from such industries to avoid scaring off big investors like pension funds.
Whatever the reason, Cerberus, through the Freedom Group, is now a major player.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle via The New York Times
While Cerberus may be acting purely from a business perspective in acquiring some of the largest and oldest gun manufacturers in America and they may have the best of intentions, we remain cautious about the New York Times interpretation of events (especially when we see the same news report republished in their sister magazine in San Francisco). It is, after all, the New York Times, a left leaning media organization that has long advocated, either directly or indirectly, restrictive gun legislation that runs counter to the Second Amendment.
Anytime a single company acquires most of the major players in an industry and the most liberal leaning media outlet in the world plays it off as no big deal it should be cause for contemplation. For all we know, the Freedom Group is intent on centralizing gun lobbying efforts into one organization. Weve seen this kind of double speak before, and while the Freedom Group leaves a positive feel, so too does the Patriot Act until you get past the cover. If it turns out to be the gun industry equivalent of a Trojan Horse, and Freedom Group management is embedded with anti-Second Amendment leadership, then the risk becomes that Congressional lobbying efforts to expand gun freedoms could be muted and restrictive legislation enacted as a result. There would, in essence, be no one left in American industry to fend off an attack on the second amendment.
We are, of course, speculating about the motivations of the Freedom Groups parent company Cerberus Capital Management, but for conspiracys sake well note that Cerberus is a mythical creature employed as Hades loyal watchdog to guard the gates to the underworld. This begs the question: Is the Freedom Group guarding and preserving the peoples right to bear arms (which seems to be the case), or are they the watchdogs for someone else, simply positioning the chess pieces for when the time is right?
Hat tip BJ
So, who is Cerberus Capital Management? Name names.
Is this the outfit that Dan Quayle has an interest?
There is a fairly long article on Cerberus at Wikipedia. No telling how much it has been slanted, but presumably the names are correct.
Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is one of the largest private equity investment firms in the United States. The firm is based in New York City, and run by 51-year-old financier Steve Feinberg. Former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle has been a prominent Cerberus spokesperson and runs one of its international units.
The firm’s headquarters are located at 299 Park Avenue in New York City.
Founded in 1992, Cerberus is named for the mythological three-headed dog that guarded the gates of Hades. Feinberg has stated to his employees that while the Cerberus name seemed like a good idea at the time, he later regretted naming the company after the mythological dog.
The company has been a very active acquirer of businesses over the past several years and now has sizable investments in automotive, sportswear, paper products, military services, real estate, energy, retail, glassmaking, transportation, and building products. In 2006, its holdings amounted to $24 billion.
On October 19, 2006, John W. Snow, President George W. Bush’s second Treasury Secretary, was named chairman of Cerberus.
J. Ezra Merkin is a partner in Cerberus. Merkin invested his funds into Cerberus and its portfolio companies. His Gabriel fund invested $79 million in Chrysler, $66 million in GMAC and $67 million in Cerberus partnerships, according to year-end statements. The Gabriel Fund was a feeder fund for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
Go to wiki
Can’t find any Soros connection. FactCheck and Snopes deny the rumor that he is involved. Of course, neither source is reliable on such matters, and possibly the search engines have scrubbed the connection.
But it looks like it’s run by Establishment Republican types.
This has been psted a few times on FR. Soros has nothing to do with The Freedom Group or Cerberus Capital Management.
Someone ought to invent Anti-Trust laws...Oh wait, they got sold too...
Sounds very scary to have this one Mega player buying up weapon manufactures. Nothing good can come from this IMO.
I have noticed that it seems Beretta has some connection to just about every gun manufacturer in Europe.
If Soros really thinks he could buy all the gun manufacturers and shut them down, then he’s nuts. Of course, he IS nuts, but that’s beside the point.
There are a lot of people who know how to make guns. As long as the biggies are doing it, the small operators will remain small. But if Soros shuts down the biggies, the small operators will suddenly become big operators.
Nothin much good comes from monopolies.
Beretta is an Italian company, so it doesn’t surprise me.
With the so called “Arab Spring” and Iran messing stuff up in the ME, it makes sense to be in the arms business.
There will be chaos and violent confrontations in the coming years and American companies sell more arms and resupply than any other country.
Especially if they manufacture the primers. That is the weak link as I found out during the primer shortage of a few years ago.
Sorry but you’re first post of 2012 is totall Bulls#it. There is nothing sinsiter at work here, and in fact the Freedom Group is made up of 2nd amendment supporters who are doing the industry a service by maintaining the viability of this companies.
Search would have told you this.
The NRA came out recently and said that this just isnt true, which in my books is all the more reason to suspect that it is true given NRA’s stance lately on various matters.
I would have to see a lot of evidence showing that it is a good deal before I’d buy into it.
When I was a kid (40 years ago) the firearms industry was made up of just a few big players and maybe a dozen very minor (custom or near custom) players.
Today, CNC machines and other milling advances make anyone who desires to be a firearm manufacturer a player. This has been a marvelous development for the 2A, as it really spreads the industry out into a vast base.
If Remington, Winchester, and Mossberg were all closed tomorrow, the gap in available arms would be filled within 48 months.
Maybe, but likely at higher prices and higher levels of quality.
BigBob....slow down Turbo. I posted the article to see if anyone had any more information. Of course I could have gone to wikipedia, snopes and factcheck, because they are the end all, be all. You might be a investor in the Freedom Group or Cerebus for all anyone knows.
Or maybe, you’re one of those guys that thinks everyone and anyone should be allowed to tote any gun they can carry, mount a Dillon on the top of their SUV’s and homes, regardless of whether they know how to use the damn thing or not.
I have to apologize to you for not spending hours on end researching s*it on the internet for accuracy. That’s why sites like this are helpful. So many others out there that have the information and it prevents me from clicking on an endless supply of internet hits and reading corporate profiles of businesses and people I could give a damn about.
Take a xanax and relax
...”Freedom Group is made up of 2nd amendment supporters who are doing the industry a service...”
This is all new info to a lot of people, and when an article is posted purporting to clear things up, then the reader has to conduct research to find out who (actual names) these 2nd amendment supporters are, it provokes suspicion. Just name the people and it’s all cleared up.
Yes he is ranked 4th in line behind two big guys.
They claim they are simply looking for undervalued assets/companies,who really knows. My guess is its all about bucks here.
I got sucked into this myth a few weeks ago. The Freedom Group and Cerberus is not affiliated with Soros. Dan Quayle is on the board of directors of The Freedom Group and as far as anybody can tell the rest of the principals are upstanding 2nd ammendment supporters. So relax. They tried to buy out Ronnie Barrett but he said no thanks so they don’t have everybody yet. There are a million arms manufacturers out there that are still independents and more everyday that are coming online.
They aren’t buying up these firearms companies too rapidly, because I’ve been reading this story here and there for the better part of the past two years. lol
Beretta has been family owned since the 1500s. When you've been around that long, it probably isn't a stretch to have your hands in a lot of places in your trade/industry. I bet they have one HELL of a bank account.
How long would it take to fill the void in car availability if GM actually closed? About 48 months. During that time, yes prices would rise, but then they would come back down.
As prices rose for firearms, the number of entrants would also increase.
If you shop around for an AR, there are tons of options. Many rifles would also start getting pulled out of the closet and rebarreled. Most people who exercise the 2A don't own just one.
The truth is, many old time American gun manufacturers have been up against the ropes and were going out of business.
One of the best names in American guns, Winchester, for example, essentially went out of business and was taken over by FN Manufacturing.
After doing just a little research that’s what it looked like to me. But I’m not a good source yet.
“There are a lot of people who know how to make guns. As long as the biggies are doing it, the small operators will remain small. But if Soros shuts down the biggies, the small operators will suddenly become big operators.”
BINGO! Additionally, unlike other “appliances”, guns don’t suffer from obsolescense(sp) and there are already many hundreds of millions of them out there. An “old” gun can be used to kill someone just as efficiently as a “new” one, so if all manufacturers are suddenly shut down, you can consider your collection to be a wise investment!
AND just which NRA “stances” do do you know to be fallacious of late? Do be specific, with references, or be gone!
Yep, this story didn’t pass the smell test. Thanks for the info.
Concho’s post implied that he automatically assumed NRA statements were not true. Yes, they take some dumb positions occasionally, usually when endorsing politicians, that I don’t agree with. In the main on 2A issues, they are correct, not 100% but a good, solid 95%. They also have logical rationale for the positions they take. I know because I have asked and have always gotten an answer. As a result of feedback, they have also modified their approach to the endorsement of politicians like “Dingy Harry” Reid. Scumbags who are strong on the 2A, but otherwise readily violate Constitutional principles no longer get a pass.
Just renewed my NRA membership for 5 years. That said the NRA pushes a view that 2A rights trump property rights, and I don't adhere to that (laws to force businesses to allow carry). They also pushed a law in Florida that would have totally dictated what a doctor can ask a patient, which should be between the patient and the doctor.
In my opinion, there is no separation between 2A rights and other rights, they are all important, with property rights being the most critical (if you have no property rights to defend, the 2A is just a hunting license).
I wish the NRA was more broad based on the principles of liberty.
Cracker, are you on crack?
I am NRA Life, and be gone, I will not, so dont get smart mouthed with me.
I agree that ALL rights are important, but I take the view that since the 2A’s basic purpose is to resist government tyranny, then without the 2A, ALL the others will soon be in danger and we will have no effective recourse remaining.
Florida’s problem with doctors grilling patients about guns in the home is basically 1) gun ownership has nothing to do with a patient’s health, and 2) many lib organizations equate gun ownership as the equivalent of active promotion of violence in the home which is a fake strawman intended to further restrict gun ownership.
Nope, us Florida Crackers prefer chew, and most of us know nothing about that other stuff except what we read in the newspaper.
Congrats on your Life membership; I am also, along with a son and both grandsons.
I continue to think that having claim to a house is more important than having a burglar alarm in it.
Floridas problem with doctors grilling patients about guns in the home is basically 1) gun ownership has nothing to do with a patients health,
Which falls into "its nice you have an opinion, but its none of your damned business". Allow people to conduct voluntary business transactions as they see fit, and stay out of it. Now that is what liberty is about. As long as people have the right to not frequent a particular doctor and doctor's have a right to ask, or not ask, then there isn't a problem. And by the way, there are plenty of instances when/where a person's environment and the things in them have everything to do with health. There is absolutely no harm, in and of itself, in talking about dangers to children with parents and firearms are a danger. And when you get into mental health, asking the family about the patients availability to cars, knives, firearms, etc. is pretty darned smart. How about you let the doctor and patient work it out?
If the doctor is rude, the patient can leave. Its like magic, aka capitalism.
and 2) many lib organizations equate gun ownership as the equivalent of active promotion of violence in the home which is a fake strawman intended to further restrict gun ownership.
Why yes they do, and I disagree with them, but I don't think curtailing their freedom of speech is the answer.
As I said, you either support individual liberty or you don't.
Well, you’re certainly entitled to your own opinion. Everyone has one, but I find it curious that you’ve twice diluted the importance of the 2A in comparison to others, first as a “hunting license” and now as a “burglar alarm”. Good luck with that approach; the anti’s will take advantage of that on their way to marginalizing the remainder.
You failed to mention another recent Florida law that prohibits towns, cities and counties from using local ordinances to set different rules and restrictions on gun regulations peculiar to their own locales that conflict with state law making it legally hazardous for one to exercise a basic 2A right. That too was part of the anti’s agenda.
I haven't done any such thing as you suggest. Reread my post. The fact of the matter is that a discussion of "rights" presumes that we are speaking of rights recognized by others, because if they are not recognized, then it is an assertion of exercise, not a recognized right. Now, based on the premise that a right would be unchallenged, property rights are king. In fact, unquestioned properly rights would de facto cover the possession of firearms. We can have a realistic discussion that the right to keep and bear arms is a special caveat of property rights with specific meaning, but it is superfluous if property rights are secure. And yes, we both know that is an academic point, not a real world expectation.
You failed to mention another recent Florida law that prohibits towns, cities and counties from using local ordinances to set different rules and restrictions on gun regulations peculiar to their own locales that conflict with state law making it legally hazardous for one to exercise a basic 2A right.
I failed to mention lots of things. I didn't mention that, because it was not supportive of my statement that the NRA needs to recognize all rights and not attempt to make one persons exercise of rights subservient to another's. As I said, people have a right to do certain things that we don't like or agree with.
Per the cases you mention, these are not issues of individuals having dominion over themselves or their property, but rather governments restricting rights without cause.
You may note that I included my renewed NRA membership in my first post.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and you may have noticed that I didn’t mention that I’m already a life member. Didn’t think I needed to affirm that. Oh well... Bye.
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