SHOT Show Roundup - A New Player Gets Behind The AR-15 Platform
The big news at this year's SHOT Show, Feb. 2-5, 2008, was the newfound prominence of Cerberus Capital Management as a major player in the firearms industry. Probably best known to the general public for its recent acquisition of controlling interests in Chrysler Corp. and GMAC Financial Services, since April 2006 Cerberus has acquired Bushmaster Firearms, Remington, and DPMS Panther Arms. In addition, since joining the Cerberus family, Bushmaster has acquired Cobb Manufacturing, while Remington purchased Marlin Firearms, which already owns H&R 1871 and New England Firearms, putting four more prominent industry names under the Cerberus umbrella.
A private investment firm with a reputation for buying under-valued companies and investing in their long-term growth, Cerberus appears genuinely committed to developing its firearm industry acquisitions. Under its direction, Bushmaster signed an agreement with Magpul Industries to produce Magpul's advanced, AR-derived Masada modular rifle as the Bushmaster ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle). DPMS has received the go-ahead to continue developing its LR rifle platform to further expand its footprint in the AR-15/M16 market, while Remington has debuted its R-15, an AR-type geared specifically to the hunter.
Another sign of Cerberus's long-term commitment to the industry is the recent nomination of Managing Director George Kollitides as a candidate for the NRA Board of Directors. In charge of the firm's firearm industry holdings, Mr. Kollitides serves on the Remington and Bushmaster boards of directors and is a lifelong shooter and hunter. He is an NRA Life Member, as well as a member of many shooting organizations, including the ATA, CRPA, NWTF, NYSRPA, TSRA, Boone & Crockett (Associate), Houston Safari Club, Remington Collectors, Quail Unlimited, and U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance. Not only does this signal his substantial commitment to Second Amendment rights, it's clear that decision makers at Cerberus know the industry they have entered. "I've been very impressed with the Cerberus people I've talked with," says Brownells President Pete Brownell. "They seem absolutely committed to the long-term success of the companies they've acquired and to the firearms industry as a whole. George definitely seems well-grounded in the shooting and hunting world, and we're pleased he and Cerberus are part of this industry."
Although rumors have circulated of more acquisitions to come, possibly a handgun manufacturer, for now Cerberus seems to be concentrating on long-gun manufacturers of traditional bolt-actions and the ever-flexible AR-15 platform - two of Brownells strongest areas of expertise. As the new Cerberus-financed rifles hit the market, look to Brownells to provide factory and aftermarket parts and accessories to help you get the most from them.