By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
February 14, 2021
Well, this is pretty big news; Czech firearms manufacturer CZ Group, or CZG (full name, Česká zbrojovka Group SE), has apparently just inked a deal to aquire Colt Holding Company LLC for $220M (Million) plus “up to 1,098,620 shares of newly issued CZG common stock if defined EBITDA thresholds are achieved in years 2021 – 2023”. The deal reportedly includes Colt Canada Corporation (CCC), and, we presume, Cold Defense, manufacturer of the M16 and M4/M4A1 series rifles and carbines for US Military forces. CZG’s acquisition of the military defense small arms side of Colt’s business, should it go through, will be interesting from a strategic perspective, as a foreign company will now be at least somewhat in control of a strategic defense materiel resource, moving forward.
While DefenseReview (DR) likes CZG/CZ USA products AND the people we’ve met at their booth at SHOT Show over the years, we’re not sure how to feel about a foreign company, ANY foreign company, purchasing a MAJOR, ICONIC and HISTORIC American firearms manufacturer outright. This one gives us some pause, postive feelings about the folks at CZ USA aside.
Here’s the official press release on the deal from CZ Group:
“CZG – Česká zbrojovka Group SE (“CZG” or “the Group”) hereby informs that on 11 February 2021, it 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.
Subject to the terms and conditions of the definitive agreement, CZG shall acquire a 100% stake in Colt for upfront cash consideration of $220 million and the issuance of 1,098,620 shares of newly issued CZG common stock. The agreement also provides for potential earnout consideration of up to 1,098,620 shares of newly issued CZG common stock if defined EBITDA thresholds are achieved in years 2021 – 2023.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Lubomír Kovařík, President and Chairman of CZG, said: “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 500 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.”
Dennis Veilleux, President and CEO of Colt, agreed: “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.”
The acquisition is to be financed from the Company’s existing cash resources, including recent IPO proceeds, and from the contemplated bond issuance.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval but is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2021.
With this strategic move, CZG will acquire significant production capacity in the United States and Canada and substantially expand its global customer base. Colt is a traditional supplier to global military and law enforcement customers. Among others, Colt is a long-term supplier to the U.S. Army (which relationship dates back over 175 years) and, through its Canadian subsidiary, Colt a designated exclusive supplier of small arms to the Canadian military.
About CZG – Česká zbrojovka Group SE
CZG – Česká zbrojovka Group (CZG), together with its subsidiaries, is one of the leading European producers of firearms for military and law enforcement, personal defense, hunting, sport shooting and other civilian use. CZG markets and sells its products mainly under the CZ (Česká zbrojovka), CZ-USA, Dan Wesson, Brno Rifles and 4M Systems brands. CZG’s subsidiaries include Česká zbrojovka, CZ-USA, 4M Systems and CZ Export Praha. CZG owns a minority stake in Spuhr i Dalby, a Swedish manufacturer of optical mounting solutions for weapons.
CZG is headquartered in the Czech Republic. It has production facilities in the Czech Republic and in the United States and employs around 1,650 people in the Czech Republic, the United States and Germany.
Colt is one of the world’s leading designers, developers, and manufacturers of firearms. It has supplied civilian, military and law enforcement customers in the U.S. and throughout the world for over 175 years.
Colt is a supplier to the U.S. military, the exclusive supplier to the Canadian military and it also supplies its products to other armed forces around the world. Colt firearms enjoy a reputation throughout the world for accuracy, reliability and quality. Colt pistols and revolvers are carried by military and law enforcement personnel in numerous countries and are used by hunters and sportsmen and sportswomen worldwide. Colt commercial, sporting, military and law enforcement rifles enjoy similar renown.”
If you’d prefer to read it on the CZG website, click here.
Company Contact Info:
Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC
545 New Park Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06110 USA
Toll Free: 800-962-2658 (COLT)
Colt Canada Corporation (Defense Sales)
1036 Wilson Avenue, Kitchener, ON, Canada, N2C 1J3
Tel: +1 (519)-893-6840
Fax: +1 (519)-893-3144
Info Email: [email protected]
P.O. Box 171073
Kansas City, KS 66117
Toll Free: 800-955-4486
Monday-Friday 9am-4pm Central
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