Virtually any institution with a history spanning more than two centuries is almost certain to experience its fair share of ups and downs over those many years. America’s oldest gun maker, the Remington Arms Company, is no exception. Since its founding by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York in 1816, Remington has seen some of the highest highs and lowest lows. Highlights include producing some of the most seminal designs in firearms history, such as their Model 700 bolt-action rifles and 870 pump shotguns, as well as abysmal lows like the regrettable R51 pistol and previous bouts with bankruptcy. TFB reported on Remington’s Chapter 11 filing and restructuring measures in 2018. This time, the company’s financial woes appear to be coming with a different solution. According to Reuters, Remington is in the advanced stages of negotiation with the Navajo Nation for a potential buyout. The Reuters press release reads as follows.
June 26 (Reuters) – Remington Arms Co, America’s oldest gun maker, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that could come as early as Sunday night and is in advanced talks for a sale to the Navajo Nation, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The Native American tribe is planning to vote to approve the deal as soon as Friday, the source said. The tribe previously had bid for Remington, planning to drop its most controversial semi-automatic rifles, the New York Times has reported.
U.S. retailers have placed restrictions on gun sales after school shootings, hurting manufacturers such as Remington. A Remington Bushmaster rifle was used in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut in 2012 that killed 20 children and six adults, making it central to debates over gun policy.
The gunmaker has filed for bankruptcy before, in March 2018 after sales faltered and the company had trouble meeting requirements of its lenders.
Remington emerged from bankruptcy the same year, owned by its former creditors, including Franklin Templeton Investments and JPMorgan Asset Management.
The sources cautioned that the timing of the bankruptcy filing could slip, and that the deal with the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American reservation in the United States, may not come to fruition.
The sale to the tribe would occur through a court-supervised process, the source said, subject to higher and better offers and approval from a judge.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the company’s plan to file for bankruptcy and sell to the Navajo Nation.
Remington and a representative for the Navajo Nation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Navajo Nation made a bid in 2018 for Remington, planning to use an investment trust to fund a purchase that would transform the company by dropping assault-style weapons and focusing instead on hunting firearms for consumers, sales to law enforcement and smart gun technology, the New York Times has reported.
What does the future hold for Remington? Will the possible new Navajo Nation ownership be able to bring about business improvements? Will we still enjoy plenty of inexpensive and classic gun designs like the 700 and 870, with bolstered financials, or will these firearms start to become collector’s items as the company sinks into decline and the supply slowly dries up? Remington has survived much during its 204-year lifetime and there is plenty of money involved, so even if new ownership is imminent, it’s likely not cause for panic yet. Only time will tell! See you at the range.