BREAKING NEWS: Cerberus to sell Freedom Group

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Reuters is reporting that Cerberus Capital Management will immediately begin selling The Freedom Group …

U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management said on Tuesday it will immediately begin selling its investment in gunmaker Freedom Group in light of last week’s school shooting in Connecticut.

Cerberus acquired Bushmaster in 2006 and later merged it with other gun companies to create Freedom Group, which reported net sales of $677.3 million for the nine months ending September 2012, up from $564.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Bushmaster is the manufacturer of the AR 15 rifle used by the shooter in the Newtown killings that claimed 27 lives, including 20 school children.

“We do not believe that Freedom Group or any single company or individual can prevent senseless violence or the illegal use or procurement of firearms and ammunition,” Cerberus said in a statement.

The company has been wanting to sell its interests in The Freedom Group for some time now. Sales across the industry are very strong and they will remain strong for at least another 12 – 24 months.

Many gun owners have been uncomfortable with Cerberus Capital’s ownership of such a large portion of the gun industry and will be relived to hear they are selling it.

[ Many thanks to Alex (@RogueAcosta) for the tip. ]

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Craig S. Andersen

    Good bye Cebrus. Do you divest from Budweiser when people drink and drive? What about Ford Motor Company when someone drives recklessly in a Mustang and kills someone. The Bushmaster carbine did not murder those children. A lunatic did. People misuse consumer products. It is not the fault of the manufacturer or the shareholders. You should make you decisions based on business considerations; not knee jerk political considerations.

    • JoeBob

      This has nothing to do with the shooting and everything to do with the CALSTARS pension fund threatening to withdraw their $750 billion. Also it was probably at the end of the investment cycle anyways. PE funds don’t hold companies for forever, they buy, they increase value, and then they sell so that investors can reclaim money.

      • Mechman

        There’s been talk for a while that Cerberus was looking to cash out while the money was good.
        This is just timing for good PR. Before, they would be a sleazy group of bankers cashing out having made loads of money off guns and running companies into the ground to make a quick buck. Now, they’re an enlightened group of courageous bankers abandoning being merchants of death in response to a terrible tragedy and proving how truly responsible they are.

  • Anon

    “This business is getting out of control, this business is getting out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.”

  • Franky

    good riddance. but what does this mean for the firearms industry?

  • KC

    I bet you this has to do 100% with CalSTRS’s fund (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) who has $751.4 million invested in Cerberus

    • KC

      … which was completely covered in the article

    • DougE

      Hmm, did not know that. Interesting, I’m sure that you’re right. Why didn’t they have a problem with the investment before?

      • Mike

        Considering that some idiot sicced feminists on Freedom Group over the “Man Card” advertising campaign, as if blaming the tool for the crime wasn’t enough, we just hit a bullshit pile-up here.

      • Vak

        I’m a bearded manly man, I like guns and even I can tell that associating guns and “manliness” is misguided at best.

        This sort of demeaning attitude to women is exactly what makes the shooting community look like a bunch women hating troglodytes stuck in 18th century mentality and I think anyone who respects women and likes guns should refrain from such behavior.

        Also yeah, this also applies to pink guns. What will they think of next, pink cars? Pink airplanes for female pilots? Pink astronaut’s suits?

        Ps : hope this means that Marlin will get back to its former glory. I have had a 1895 on my list of my “buy that at some point in your life” list and the latest news about QC at Marlin had made me wary of their products.

      • AJ

        I’m with Vak – I just want to see some Marlins on the shelves. I need a Model 39!

  • Lockness

    My thought is that a capital management firm, noting that the left (Emboldened by the last election) is already screaming for more gun control, no longer sees firearms as a good investment. If the banners get what they want, sales will drop and the cost of manufacturing will increase, effectively making guns at best a break even investment.

  • bbmg
    • Nicks87

      “Just think of the children!”

      ^^^This statement almost always leads to a loss of our individual rights. The great manipulators will never let a crisis get in the way of “progress”.

  • Nicks87

    Hmm, I wonder if they got some inside info that the ban hammer is about to drop hard on the firearms industry.

    If this becomes a trend it may be an indication that some draconian gun control legislation is on its way.

    • Curzen

      nah, it’s simpler than that. The California state teacher pension fund is a major investor in Cerberus and had stated that they will pull all their investments which are related ti guns, that’s why Cerberus is trying ti get rid of the freedom group quickly.

      • Avery

        This makes more sense than the “gun ban” fear.

        A gun ban ain’t going to happen because any bill would have to be created and passed in the House, which is Republican-controlled. And, even as the passing in the House of HR 822 proved, that there’s still plenty of Democrats will side with them over guns.

      • W

        LOL teachers pension funds…

        cerberus is another global financial ponzi scheme. i pity the fool that relies on anything like them for a pension.

  • noob

    I’d keep a sharp eye on the new buyers. Let’s hope that they are a good home to be adopted into.

    Otherwise, anyone want to start a “HELP STEVE BUY THE FREEDOM GROUP” fund?

    • ZeCatnip

      I’ve got $10 and some lint in my pocket, I don’t think that will quite be enough…

  • FailBlog

    This could also mean either

    1) They feel responsible for the shooting.

    or 2) They have insider info about what’s going on within the Obama regime about an upcoming gun ban – especially an “assault rifle” ban – and are getting out now before SHTF.

    I fear the latter is the most likely option…

  • Axel

    Cerberus sells firearms companies ==> gun ban expectations rise

    gun ban expectations rise==> gun company stock fall
    gun ban expectations rise==> gun sales rise ==> gun company stock price rises.

    How can I buy stocks in Ruger?

  • TangledThorns

    Knee jerk reactions, knee jerk reactions everywhere!

  • MarkM

    Gosh, and I thought it was just a Corporation covering it’s collective 6. No, what we have is a government workers union dumping out to protect their future pension money.

    How many others will roll over the system to keep the checks rolling in? They can claim their action doesn’t directly affect the debate, but the reality is different. They just chose sides. Not unexpectedly, tho.

    As for the companies involved, it’s not all bad. Being under a monolithic corporate management tends to stifle innovation and growth. Look to “Detroit,” how many makes have gone under in the last ten years? This will likely keep them alive, rather than pawns in a game to value engineer their products and ruin their reputation.

    Sure, there’s a LOT of speculation what might happen. Let’s not. Just deal with the facts as they arise.

  • Seth

    Could this mean that Marlin might see a noticeable increase in quality control in the near future?

  • Brandon

    Freedom Group needs to be broken back down into individual companies, before it buys up everything.
    Some investors could probably make out like bandits on this. Cerberus trying to sell like $750 worth of investment immediately, in an environment when guns sales are spiking and a new ban has a snowball’s chance in hell of clearing a GOP House.

    • Bryan S.

      Snowball’s chance? With NRA Rated (whatever that really means these days) Legislators jumping on the “I’m a hunter” bandwagon, dont call it as an automatic win.

      No pun intended.

  • josh

    Come on people look up the facts please. I have come to expect the lib’s to make up their own story, can’t we be more responsible? The mother was shot at home with a .22 rifle. Then he brought a .223 to school, but it was left in the car while he went on his rampage.

  • http://TheFirearmBlog grandpa

    Very poor taste of the writer to add in about the rifle and killings in the article. It’s bad enough it happened but to bring it up again is just pure crap. The country is morning enough as it is. Word would get out anyway without your writing it in the article. If i was head of your Dept, your sorry ass would be out the door forever.

    • Brandon

      You spelled ‘mourning’ wrong.
      And what is this ‘Dept’ you speak of? This is a blog, not a newspaper.

  • Big Daddy

    They keep calling it a Bushmaster. They don’t say it was an AR15. That’s good because if they kept saying AR15 everyone who knows nothing about guns will direct their anger at the AR.

    I could only think about what would happened if he used an AK derivative, they would be saying he used an AK-47 full auto.

    Tragic incendent, caused by a person who should have never been taught to shoot by his mother. And by a mother who had no brains in her head to have guns with a son who said he wanted to kill her since he was 4 years old.

    Again the gun had nothing to do with it, the people involved are at the base of the problem. It’s not guns, it’s our society.

    Our society is sick, like a virus, people have untreated issues and they go over the edge. It happens all the time where I live. People who should be on meds and institutionalized are out on the street and they push people in front of a train in the subway, that’s New York City.

    In China this happens every few years but they use a knife. In fact it just happened, lucky no children where killed.

    This is a illness of the mind that people have and do not get treatment for. Not anything to do with guns. Peoeple as usual miss the point and the cause of the problem.

  • John Doe

    People blaming Bushmaster is dumb. Bushmaster merely made a product. They didn’t go out, give it to the shooter and tell him to go kill someone. Some people these days…

    • David/Sharpie

      The AR was found in the guys car, he didn’t actually use it.

      • W

        sgtreport posted some good links in regards to the lack of facts presented by the media and the differing stories in regards to the weapon used. supposedly the bushmaster was found in the car by the police but then the medical examiner concluded a rifle had been used. i havent heard or seen anything in regards to the casings found at the crime scene, which would paint a picture about what was really used.

        the lack of concreteness in the story really baffles me. from what i see, another firearms witch hunt is underway. given the main stream media and government’s deception over the past 50 years, i remain extremely skeptical of anything that comes from their mouths.

  • Mike S

    I wonder how much I could raise in a Kickstarter campaign to buy the Freedom Group?

  • Tobias

    It would be great if some patriot group could buy all or parts of the company and move them to a state that doesn’t hate firearms. (Idaho would be my choice)

  • gunslinger

    i like the kickstarter idea…

  • Anonymoose

    THIS PLEASES ME.

    Also the guy in CT didn’t even fire his Shrubmaster at all- he killed all those people with just the pistols he brought.

    • Anonymoose

      Apparently the coroner’s report says that most of the kids were killed with the Shrubmaster, but the first reports I read said that he hadn’t fired it at all…also, he shot his mom with a Marlin. |:

  • Mike Knox

    I think this is the first time I’ve heard of a company selling off a hot potato brand of fireams..

  • Josey Wales

    This whole Gun Ban is going to blow up in Obama’s face just like it is in Cuomo’s face as The NY Gun Bill he pushed through at the last minute. Now it was on the news last night that Police officers aren’t exempt from the NY Gun Bill? All this shit is going to blow over as these Polititians are going to worry only about there own asses,as elections are coming! Two polititians who better worry are Kristen Gilibrand and Chuck Shumer in NY! These 2 are the worst anti-gun people on the planet along with Feinstien! I urge all of you too find out which of your elected officials voted for or against Gun Control and keep the ones who were for Gun Rights and Vote the other Bastards out of Office who opposed our 2nd Amendment Rights and voted for Gun Control. We do have to worry as I was reading as a Company in Brazil wants to buy Freedom Group,I say keep Freedom in the USA!